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Water Aspects of Regional Development


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Presented by IWMI's Matthew McCartney at the World Hydropower Congress held in Beijing, China, 19-21 May, 2015.
Session: Regional Development - How can benefits and costs be shared?

Published in: Environment
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Water Aspects of Regional Development

  1. 1. Photo:DavidMolden/IWMI A water-secure world Water Aspects of Regional Development Matthew McCartney IHA Congress 2015 Beijing
  2. 2. A water-secure world Water and development • Regional development and availability of water are strongly interrelated • Advances in water related engineering, technology and management have been central to progress in human development. • Today water remains central to many aspects of socio-economic development – key to energy and food production (nexus) and other areas of human endeavor. • With the advanced engineering, the scale of human interventions has increasingly shifted from local to regional scale Photo courtesy Wikipedia
  3. 3. A water-secure world Value systems The way water is managed inevitably relates to the value systems of society. Today widely promoted principles are: • Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) • Sustainable development • Water security All highlight the need for regional cooperation in relation to the management and use of water. Increasingly important in a world of greater demand, increasing scarcity and increasing uncertainty. Photo: Matthew McCartney / IWMI
  4. 4. A water-secure world Cooperation Assumption: sustainable water resources development and management can only be achieved through better coordination of increasingly complex and multiple use of water In transboundary basins requires: - integration - across sectors and scales (local to supranational) - countries planning and working together (coherent policies) built on common understanding of river function and hydrology - sharing the costs as well as the benefits of water resource development
  5. 5. A water-secure world Challenges • Different and changing priorities stemming from demographic and other differences – conflicting development plans (upstream:downstream Nile) • Sectoral fragmentation of water management at national and sub- national level (Scalar disconnect: Mekong) • Complex geopolitical reality: i) power asymmetry; ii) the nation state is not the only actor in international relations • Insufficient data and understanding. Photo: Matthew McCartney / IWMI
  6. 6. A water-secure world Private Sector Investment in Hydropower (PPP) Requires: strong regional cooperation – facilitates electric-power exchange and provides confidence to investors Benefits: - potential to lever financing that is difficult for governments to access (e.g. FDI) - transfer and sharing of financial risk to private sector investors? - Potential efficiencies and innovation gains Photo: Matthew McCartney / IWMI
  7. 7. A water-secure world Challenges • Opportunities for investors to profit through construction or service supply may incentivize investments with weak returns. • Governments with weak capacity may absorb risks and provide private sector guarantees such as supplying security, water flows, fuel, or electricity. • Complexity can result in a range of environmental, socio- economic, financial, and political risks being undervalued, overlooked, or misidentified. • Business norms tend to impede project transparency and participatory processes
  8. 8. A water-secure world Thank you Photo: Matthew McCartney / IWMI