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The Power of Water 
Four propositions and 
a resolution 
Jeremy Bird, IWMI 
Stockholm Water Prize Seminar 2014
Proposition 1: 
There is water, we are just not managing it well
Adapting to competing demands – examples of water 
productivity increases and transfers across sectors exist 
Agricultural...
Tanzania – from bucket to pump – 
facilitating entry into the irrigation market
Large scale drip systems are 
becoming a reality, e.g. Gujarat 
Photos, Hamish John Appleby
Proposition 2: Policy coherence is elusive but possible – 
solutions for groundwater over-abstraction and under-utilizatio...
West Bengal – easing regulatory and cost barriers 
• Access to groundwater - a 
major obstacle 
• Reforms reduced red-tape...
Looking forward – solar pumps reduce operating costs 
Courtesy Jain Irrigation
Proposition 3: Hydropower development and irrigation 
can be compatible 
At basin level, hydropower storage can increase i...
At project level, the peaking flows from hydropower 
projects require re-regulation. Is managed groundwater 
recharge a po...
..or on-farm ponds to 
provide a storage buffer?
Proposition 4: Dams – the controversy continues, but 
affected people can also benefit…although not under 
prevailing deve...
Adopt a benefit sharing approach? 
e.g. Andes experience 
Institutional innovations for upstream-downstream benefit sharin...
Rethinking the use of reservoir 
drawdown area for livelihoods, 
Yali Dam, Vietnam 
 Existing crops are at risk of floodi...
Constructed reservoir wetlands – balancing the built - 
natural environment 
Without wetlands With created wetlands 
Wet s...
Resolution: Look for what ‘can’ be done, 
……..not what ‘must’ be done 
Identify political entry points: 
A common thread o...
For more information: www.iwmi.org 
CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems 
http://wle.cgiar.org/
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The power of water - Four propositions and a resolution

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Jeremy Bird, IWMI
Stockholm Water Prize Seminar 2014

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The power of water - Four propositions and a resolution

  1. 1. The Power of Water Four propositions and a resolution Jeremy Bird, IWMI Stockholm Water Prize Seminar 2014
  2. 2. Proposition 1: There is water, we are just not managing it well
  3. 3. Adapting to competing demands – examples of water productivity increases and transfers across sectors exist Agricultural production levels increased… …as allocation to agriculture reduced and transferred to urban use Molden et al
  4. 4. Tanzania – from bucket to pump – facilitating entry into the irrigation market
  5. 5. Large scale drip systems are becoming a reality, e.g. Gujarat Photos, Hamish John Appleby
  6. 6. Proposition 2: Policy coherence is elusive but possible – solutions for groundwater over-abstraction and under-utilization Source: Tushaar Shah, IWMI Jyotigram Yojana – solution to a dilemma of perverse subsidies
  7. 7. West Bengal – easing regulatory and cost barriers • Access to groundwater - a major obstacle • Reforms reduced red-tape - licensing and connection charges • Could benefit more than 4.5 million smallholders Source: Aditi Mukherji, IWMI
  8. 8. Looking forward – solar pumps reduce operating costs Courtesy Jain Irrigation
  9. 9. Proposition 3: Hydropower development and irrigation can be compatible At basin level, hydropower storage can increase irrigation potential – the Mekong case Dry season water levels, Chiang Saen, Mekong, Nov ‘13-May ’14 Source: MRC …. and, in some cases, can lead to tension Source: MRC Huffington Post
  10. 10. At project level, the peaking flows from hydropower projects require re-regulation. Is managed groundwater recharge a possibility?
  11. 11. ..or on-farm ponds to provide a storage buffer?
  12. 12. Proposition 4: Dams – the controversy continues, but affected people can also benefit…although not under prevailing development models
  13. 13. Adopt a benefit sharing approach? e.g. Andes experience Institutional innovations for upstream-downstream benefit sharing:  Benefit sharing mechanism (BSM) for Caneta Basin  New Law on Payment for Ecosystems Services (PES) in Peru  Supporting implementation of BSM in more than 30 new areas throughout the Andes Photo, Tom Schauble
  14. 14. Rethinking the use of reservoir drawdown area for livelihoods, Yali Dam, Vietnam  Existing crops are at risk of flooding at the end of the season  New shorter-duration varieties of cassava suited to reservoir operations  Positive results • 32 t/ha (up by 51%); 26% starch (up by 24%); benefit $350-$850/ha Senaratna Sellamuttu S, IWMI Photo: Oliver Joffre
  15. 15. Constructed reservoir wetlands – balancing the built - natural environment Without wetlands With created wetlands Wet season: Reservoir full Dry season: Reservoir drawn down Source: Meynell, P-J
  16. 16. Resolution: Look for what ‘can’ be done, ……..not what ‘must’ be done Identify political entry points: A common thread of many successful examples has been the people who looked beyond sectors for solutions and found ways within sectors to implement them. Photos, Hamish John Appleby
  17. 17. For more information: www.iwmi.org CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems http://wle.cgiar.org/

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