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Integrated Water Resource Management - An Exercise in Back Casting for the Mekong River Basin


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Presented by Trang (Thu) Nguyen (Vietnam) and Shaun Horne (United States) during the YSEALI Generation Earth Workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Published in: Environment
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Integrated Water Resource Management - An Exercise in Back Casting for the Mekong River Basin

  1. 1. Integrated Water Resource Management An Exercise in Back Casting for the Mekong River Basin Presenters Trang (Thu) Nguyen Shaun Horne
  2. 2. Agenda Introduction to Concepts • Transboundary Water Resources • Integrated Water Resource Management – Case Study California • Back Casting – Systems Thinking • Workshop Overview – Integrated Water Resource Management Planning Exercise – Group Presentations and Discussion
  3. 3.  263 transboundary lakes and rivers globally  145 nations have transboundary watersheds  13 basins worldwide that are by over 5 riparian nations
  4. 4. Transboundary Resources: A transboundary (shared) resource is one where two or more countries actually share ownership, stewardship or exploitation of a natural resource ('asset’). A shared resource is one in which the activities of one country upon the resource can directly increase or decrease the quantity, quality or availability of the same resource in another country.
  5. 5. Transboundary Impacts: There are many cases of environmental impacts which originate in one country, but which are also felt in another country. For example, water extraction upstream has an impact on water availability downstream.
  6. 6. Integrated Water Resource Management “promotes the co-ordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems”. (The Global Water Partnership)
  7. 7. Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) On A Basin Level Sustainable management of water resource requires systemic, integrated decision making that recognizes several interdependences: 1. Decisions on land use affect water and decisions on water use affect the environment and land. 2. Decisions on our economic and social future affect hydrology and ecosystems in which humans live. 3. Decisions at the international, national, and local levels are interrelated.
  8. 8. California’s Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP) State of California policy (SB1672) • encourages local land- and water-use planning entities to work collaboratively within a region • establish common water resource management goals and objectives • develop a regional planning framework that integrates land, water, and habitat projects 8
  9. 9. 9 Case Study: Mokelumne River Project
  10. 10. Back Casting Approach • Let’s have some fun: Watch this video (0:24-2:44)
  11. 11. Back Casting Approach as a Tool for Sustainable Management Example:Back Casting vs Fore Casting
  12. 12. 12 • Systems Thinking- Different Scales – California-State/County – Mekong Basin-Countries Define System
  13. 13. Back Casting as a Tool 1. Define criteria for IWRM 2. Describe present situation in relation to the desired IWRM 3. Envision and assess potential vision 4. Construct a development path Oskar Englund, Chalmers University of Technology
  14. 14. Workshop Overview Goals • Learn basic principles of IWRM and stakeholder negotiations • Learn to use back casting as an approach to sustainable planning Objectives Using a back casting approach: • Develop IWRM for the Mekong Basin • Define necessary steps to achieve IWRM
  15. 15. Workshop Format • Divide into groups • 12 members/group • Decide on stakeholder roles • Give your group a cool name! • Groups present their solutions 15
  16. 16. Scenario • Boundaries: Mekong Basin • Background Info Provided on Map and Template • Develop a vision for 2025 • Stakeholder Roles and their Main Concerns – 2 People: Agricultural Community: water supply for their activities, especially rice production – 2 People: Fishing Community: aquatic biodiversity and quantity of fish – 2 People: Environmental Activist: ecosystem conservation – 2 People: Development Commission: socioeconomic issues – 2 People: Industry Representatives: water supply – 2 People: Hydropower Development Firm: power production, demand, and 16
  17. 17. Step 1: Define Criteria for Integrated and Sustainable Water Resource Management – Consider • sustainability principles • Stakeholder issues – Outline 4 criteria for IWRM – Example: Criteria for a sustainable management of marine resources for Öckerö municipality in Sweden  Fish stocks are not overfished  Marine biodiversity is conserved  Ecosystem services are maintained  The people of Öckerö have a good quality of life  A living maritime culture exists  There are enough work opportunities in the municipality  Marine resources are managed effectively  The economy is resilient
  18. 18. Step 2: Present State Analysis Compare the present state of the Mekong Basin with the criteria for IWRM defined in Step 1 Goals: • Understand why the present state is unsustainable/undesirable • What the biggest challenges to reaching our IWRM goals
  19. 19. Step 3: Sustainable/Desirable Future Solution What does IWRM look like in the Mekong Basin? • What do you, as a specific stakeholder, envision IWRM to be? • Compare your ideas with criteria from step 1 to develop a vision • Does each idea meet all criteria? • Note ideas not consistent with criteria – Who has them – What do these stakeholders represent • Craft a mission statement for your IWRM
  20. 20. Step 4: Development Path Your strategic planning timeline :
  21. 21. Workshop Synthesis 1. Mission Statement of IWRM 2. Implementation Path Strategic Implementation Plan of an IWRM for the Mekong Basin
  22. 22. Summary – What to bring home? Transboundary Water Resources Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) On A Basin Level Back Casting Approach as a Tool for Sustainable Management Back Casting Approach for your project development?
  23. 23. 23 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! Mekong River Dolphins Source: