UNESCO Transboundary Waters


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UNESCO's Involvement in Solving Conflicts about Transboundary Waters

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UNESCO Transboundary Waters

  1. 1. Transboundary Waters Sharing Regional Case Studies J. de Schutter, Rotterdam, October 2009
  2. 2. ÌHE has existed since 1957. UNESCO-IHE is now a UNESCO Category 1 Institute since 2003. It belongs to the Science Division, Natural Science Sector. It is the UNESCO focal point for water together with the International Hydrology Program and World Water Assessment Program. Within the UNESCO organization the Institute is responsible for tertiary water education. www.unesco-ihe.org UNESCO-IHE X
  3. 3. Major River Basins of the World There are an estimated 263 international river basins covering 45.3% of the land surface area of the earth, excluding Antarctica. A basin is defined as the land area (watershed) where all surface water drains to a certain river.
  4. 4. Water Rources Allocation Issues <ul><li>Transboundary water resources are surface water and groundwater resources that cross one or more international borders. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts about water allocation and use are most often related to water for hydropower against water for irrigation. Shortage of water for drinking and industrial use is less frequent. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite predictions that the next regional war would be about water this has not happened. This is not so much due to good cooperation between the countries as it is to power play by upstream countries </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts are many and they are everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Middle East (Jordan Basin: Israel, Jordan, Palestine) </li></ul><ul><li>South Asia (Ganges Basin: India, Bangladesh) </li></ul><ul><li>East Africa (Nile Basin: especially Ethiopia, Egypt) </li></ul><ul><li>Arabic peninsula (Euphrates Basin: Turkey, Syria, Iraq) </li></ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Lower Ganges Brahmaputra Basin Faraka Dam <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation development in India & </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change in the Himalaya </li></ul><ul><li>against a.o.: </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigated agriculture in Bangladesh (Kulna Jessore) </li></ul><ul><li>Stability of river systems in Bangladesh </li></ul><ul><li>Sundarbands protected brackish water wetlands in Bangladesh </li></ul>
  6. 6. Lower Nile Basin <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation development in Sudan and Egypt </li></ul><ul><li>against a.o.: </li></ul><ul><li>Hydropower and reservoir development in Ethiopia </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Some 80% of the Nile water that reaches Egypt comes through the Blue Nile (Ethiopia) ! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Euphrates Tigris Basin <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Reservoir and hydropower development in Turkey </li></ul><ul><li>against a.o.: </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigated agriculture near Al Raqqah in Syria </li></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigated agriculture in Iraq </li></ul><ul><li>Marshlands in Southern Iraq </li></ul>Euphrates Tigris
  8. 8. River Basin Declarations, Agreements, Conventions <ul><li>Madrid Declaration 1911 by the Institute of International Law </li></ul><ul><li>identification of shared water management as an international issue </li></ul><ul><li>proposed no harmful modification of international rivers </li></ul><ul><li>request to establish joint river commissions </li></ul><ul><li>Helsinki Rules , 1966 by the International Law Association </li></ul><ul><li>rules on the use of fresh water of international rivers. Each basin State is entitled, within its territory, to a reasonable and equitable share in the beneficial uses of the waters of an international drainage basin; and </li></ul><ul><li>A state must prevent any new form of water pollution or any increase in the degree of existing water pollution in an international drainage basin which would cause substantial injury in the territory of a co-basin. </li></ul>Transboundary rivers need institutional and legal frameworks for management
  9. 9. <ul><li>The Dublin principles, 1992, (International Conference of Water and Environment) </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users,planners and policy-makers at all levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water. </li></ul><ul><li>Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognised as an economic good. </li></ul><ul><li>UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Rio, 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt the principles of sustainable development </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt principle of balanced decisions on environment and development </li></ul>River Basin Declarations, Agreements, Conventions <ul><li>Watercourse States shall both within their respective territories and internationally utilize, develop and protect international watercourses in an equitable and reasonable manner. </li></ul>UN Convention on the law of non-navigational use of international water courses, 1997
  10. 10. River Basin Declarations, Agreements, Conventions <ul><li>World Water Conferences (2000 The Hague / 2009 Istanbul) </li></ul><ul><li>Much and special attention to issues of shared water resources </li></ul><ul><li>Major issues are: water as an economic good / food security / ecosystem protection / managing risks / international governance </li></ul><ul><li>Berlin Rules of Water Resources, 2004 by the International Law Association </li></ul><ul><li>Decide to sustain and manage water resources, in conjunction with other resources, and minimize environmental harm. It regulates behavior in wartime, including damage to water installations such as dams and dykes Nations are not permitted to take action that may result in a shortage of life-sustaining water for civilians, unless a nation being invaded is compelled by military emergency to disable its own water supply, or that may cause undue ecological damage. Poisoning water necessary for survival is in all cases forbidden. </li></ul><ul><li>The Berlin rules basically assert the right of every individual to equally access water and to sustain life without discrimination, even in times of war . </li></ul>
  11. 11. The international joint governance agreements, international conventions and declarations and legal statements are executed through a range of tactics (e.g. coercion of pressure, bilateral treaties, joint knowledge frameworks, etc.) that often depend on existing unbalances and lack of institutional structure. there is no actual international water law enforcement mechanism. The ICJ (International Court of Justice) has only a limited role in specific cases. Initiatives taken by UVW, UNESCO-IHE, Clingendael and City of The Hague to establish the International Centre for Water Governance and Law Towards Integrated River Basin Management <ul><li>some prerequisites for basin management are: </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional joint management and monitoring structure </li></ul><ul><li>Common criteria for water allocation and (water quality and quantity) monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Equitable and agreed distribution of costs and benefits (on the basis of bilateral and multilateral agreements) </li></ul><ul><li>Established mechanisms for enforcement and conflict resolution </li></ul>Hydro egoism / Hydro hegemony <> Hydro solidarity and:
  12. 12. How: different factors with potential contributions to the optimal future development of trans-boundary basins are of frequent importance, but receive insufficient attention <ul><li>Agreement on water allocation efficiencies within a sector (agriculture mainly); development of a common framework of how to evaluate efficient water use </li></ul><ul><li>Allocation efficiencies between sectors: main issue here is how to deal with hydropower against agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Water footprint / virtual water issues. Volumes of water needed to produce a certain product against the background of water scarcity in a region and who will pay for this </li></ul><ul><li>The need for joint management and monitoring of the resource and open structure for exchange of information and data </li></ul><ul><li>Trans boundary cooperation in water related research, policy analysis and planning (assuming an holistic approach and IWRM / IRBM principles is necessary) </li></ul><ul><li>State sovereignty. The principle of “use your own so as not to cause an injury to another” contradictory to the Harmon Doctrine (absolute territorial sovereignty) should be applied. A referee role is needed </li></ul>Towards Integrated River Basin Management
  13. 13. Combined and balanced basin wide socio-economic efficiency and regional stability should be at the basis of any decision framework for changed water use policies in a river basin. Under certain conditions, where consensus on decision criteria is difficult to achieve using the concept of Pareto efficiency (situations in which any change to make any person better off is impossible without making someone else worse off) and other optimization techniques may help. The main cause for conflict is the hydropower <> irrigation conflict. Expansion of upstream hydropower efficiency is qualitatively a most attractive policy, but only within a country and provided that the hydropower production function is ‘sufficiently steep’. If not the second-best policy is to expand downstream reservoir capacity. An intervention in an upstream state would normally include a policy conditionality that prevents unilateral expansion of upstream reservoir capacity without consultation downstream water users. Why: the main scenario triggers are population growth and climate change, which cause water scarcity Towards Integrated River Basin Management
  14. 14. Case Study Middle East (Third Party Involvement) Israeli Core Party Jordanian Core Party Water scarcity is a major issue in the Middle East. The Executive Action Team (EXACT) on the basis of recommendations of the Middle-East Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources (WWG) is coordinating special assistance programs to the Middle East Region. The WWG one out of five that have been established to promote regional co-operation among its three Core Parties: Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Five Donor Parties support the WWG: the European Union, the United States, Canada, France and the Netherlands. One of the recommendations of this WWG has been to establish regional water data banks to improve the joint monitoring, data availability and information exchange among water managers of the three Core Parties in the Middle East (EU Funded). Palestinian Core Party
  15. 15. The Water Data Banks IV Project One key to an approach to deal with trans-boundary water management problems of the Middle East is in the combined / shared use of a science based research framework and a thoroughly designed communication, planning and implementation process The WDB IV project aims to enable proper assessment of the state of the region’s water resources through development of accurate and up-to-date data banks for hydro-meteorological, hydrological, hydro-geological and water quality data, which are mutually comparable and exchangeable. A key component is to develop a new Palestinian hydrometric data base facility, and to upgrade and strengthen the Israeli and Jordanian existing water data programmes, as well as introducing internationally recognised minimum quality standards for all. Implementation focus is on: training for water managers and field technicians; communication and information; network review and evaluation; field data collection; laboratory analysis; data bank enhancement; quality assurance and control. Shared assessment > Shared monitoring > Shared use idea
  16. 16. Water Data Banks IV The watersheds of the WDB IV project area: The water market is heavily under stress and demand is exceeding supply. Both surface water and groundwater are 100% used. One answer is “treated waste water re-use” especially for agriculture. This is already underway on a large scale in Israel, on the West Bank and in Jordan (Jordan Valley). The WDB IV project is required to produce a model and DSS that will allow to optimize the balance of ME water resources supply and demand (all sources) in a planning zone Jordan Yarmouk
  17. 17. ME Water Scarcity is the Main Trigger Source: Israeli Water Commission
  18. 18. Source: MWI Jordan 2002 New Water Policies in the Middle East
  19. 19. A common planning concept for water use in WDB IV
  20. 20. Water Data Banks IV Assignment <ul><li>Assignment of the project is to design a Decision Support System for optimisation of combinations of waste water treatment options and water re-use options in designated projects / regions; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assess available water treatment options expressed in required (surface) water quality parameters, water quantity and treatment costs; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimise between available water treatment options and user requirements on the basis of water quantity needs, water quality requirements (and incremental user benefits); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyse added value / costs reduced (multiple criteria) of alternative combinations of treated (waste) water inputs, water blending options and user benefits options on the basis of agreed criteria; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agree on criteria for efficient water use (for agriculture mainly) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Water Data Banks IV Decision Model
  22. 22. Water Data Banks IV DSS Steps
  23. 23. Water Data Banks IV DSS Case Study Example <ul><li>Expansion of irrigated farming near Jericho </li></ul><ul><li>idea: </li></ul><ul><li>use treated waste water from plants near Ramallah and combine with water from springs and wells </li></ul><ul><li>measures: </li></ul><ul><li>built new WWTP near Jericho and improve treatment technologies </li></ul><ul><li>built new storage reservoir near Jericho </li></ul>
  24. 24. WDB IV DSS Interface Use
  25. 25. WDB IV DSS Output Examples The DSS allows to analyze various water allocation (quality, quantity) options and optimize (e.g. minimize deficits) between them. The planning options are shared with users and decision makers
  26. 26. Central Asia Case Study (Joint Country Exercise) <ul><li>The countries of Central Asia share the Aral Sea Basin. </li></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><li>Hydropower development in the upper watershed <> irrigated agriculture in the lower water shed </li></ul><ul><li>Population growth </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change in the Himalya </li></ul><ul><li>Water sharing is based on agreements of the Soviet period (water use is agriculture use only !) </li></ul><ul><li>Salinization and desertification </li></ul>
  27. 27. Central Asia Water Scenario’s (2003) Source: NATO SfP 974357 , 2003 Actual (2009) consumptive water withdrawal in Central Asian countries varies from 20% of available water resources (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) to 80-90% (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan).
  28. 28. Central Asia Case Study <ul><li>Secretariat ICWC (ICWC is an international organization led by the presidents of the five countries) </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific-Information Center ICWC </li></ul><ul><li>Training and Information Center ICWC </li></ul><ul><li>Meteorological Coordination Center ICWC </li></ul><ul><li>River Basin Organization “BWO Amudarya” </li></ul><ul><li>River Basin Organization “BWO Syrdarya” </li></ul><ul><li>BWOs are in charge of planning and managing water allocation schedules and overall water resources distribution, as well as direct implementation of the decisions made by ICWC relevant to water allocation, schedules of water flow and release and water quality control. </li></ul><ul><li>SIC ICWC is an information and research body, which develops methods and approaches to future development, improvement of water management practice and the ecological situation in the basin. </li></ul><ul><li>SIC ICWC is collaborating with a network of scientific and design organizations of the five countries of Central Asia It has national branches in three countries which organize research and information exchange at the national level. </li></ul>After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Central Asian States realized the importance of cooperation for water management and on October 10, 1993, established “t he Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) with executive bodies”
  29. 29. Central Asia Case Study <ul><li>Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan on co-operation for use of interstate water resources use and protection of common management approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Agreed approach by the heads of the water economy organizations of the Central Asian Republics and Kazakhstan </li></ul><ul><li>The agreement about the status of IFAS (financing organization) and its executive organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia including the new provision for rotation of the executive bodies of the Interstate Coordination Water Commission (ICWC) of Central Asia and their respective heads of office </li></ul><ul><li>New statutes of the Scientific-Information Center of ICWC (SIC ICWC) </li></ul><ul><li>Statute on the SIC ICWC branch offices in the Aral Sea basin states </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of the Secretariat of ICWC </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of the Coordination Center for ICWC Meteorological issues </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of the River Basin Management Association “Amudarya” </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of the River Basin Management Association “Syrdarya” source: www.icwc-aral.uz </li></ul>The ICWC is operating within an extended legal framework developed over the years:
  30. 30. Central Asia Case Study <ul><li>The Complexity of the (water and environment resources) system </li></ul><ul><li>(User) conflicts of interest (countries, businesses, citizens) </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty about the future (combined scenario’s for population growth, economic growth and climate change) </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency and communication (making decisions on the basis of mutual understanding and participation by the widest range of stakeholders possible) </li></ul>The actual need is for a structure and concepts and tools in support of communication and decision making about trans-boundary water management issues between citizens, governments and experts taking into account: The institutional structure for trans-boundary water management has become the ICWC and the executive bodies belonging to this commission The technical infrastructure for trans-boundary water management has become an extended system of monitoring agreements and facilities in combination with databases and planning models
  31. 31. Aral Sea Basin Management Model <ul><li>It was agreed to develop a computer based tool for decision support on transboundary water issues. The global terms of reference for the development of this Aral Sea Basin Management Model (ASBmm) were: </li></ul><ul><li>develop a tool that supports integrated water resources management planning and decision making in the Aral Sea Basin; </li></ul><ul><li>the tool must demonstrate the combined environmental and socio-economic effects of management options under different future development scenario’s </li></ul><ul><li>the decision support software must allow to be combined the with hydrological and socio-economic models as a means of communication to policy makers and to the general public; </li></ul><ul><li>the models and software must allow to adress a broad audience of interested individuals, scientists, students, journalists, decision makers with the aim to enhance understanding about integrated river basin management (IRBM) trade offs and stimulate discussion </li></ul>
  32. 32. Central Asia ASBmm The central tool developed in support of planning and decision making for trans-boundary water management is de Aral Sea Basin Management Model (ASB mm). This is a combination of a hydrological model and socio-economic model which was developed in two versions Expert version with extended access to databases and scenario information Popular version with an information and communication function mainly
  33. 33. Central Asia ASBmm
  34. 34. Central Asia ASBmm
  35. 35. Central Asia ASBmm Process Step 1 intro
  36. 36. Central Asia ASBmm Process Step 2 1. analyse 4. Run calculation 2. Select scenario 3. change parameters (= measures) 5. check calculation results 6. Base criteria shown in color
  37. 37. Central Asia ASBmm Process Step 3a evaluate <ul><li>Select parameter: </li></ul><ul><li>states </li></ul><ul><li>criteria </li></ul><ul><li>cases </li></ul>Select state
  38. 38. Central Asia ASBmm Process Step 3b Graphical presentation of results Water scarcity indices
  39. 39. Central Asia ASBmm Applications <ul><li>The ASBmm *) is playing an important role in both decision support and information and communication in Central Asia </li></ul><ul><li>In combination with river basin databases it is used for analysis in support of official national and international planning reports </li></ul><ul><li>It is used for training of decision makers, general public and experts on principles and consequences of trans-boundary water management </li></ul><ul><li>It is used as a lecturing material for students in universities and academic institutions </li></ul><ul><li>*) an updated version of the ASBmm is currently under production </li></ul>
  40. 40. Trans-boundary Watersharing Summary Potential conflict areas for scarce water sharing are found in numerous places around the world and vary much in both complexity and urgency Usually problems are still solved by force (of upstream countries ) and not by negotiation and consensus Water resources sharing requires a common framework for decision making, common access to information, openness and participation Water resources sharing requires an agreed institutional and legal framework and ways to enforce decisions Decision support systems based on joint monitoring data, shared databases and agreed indicators are powerful tools in IRBM The Netherlands, with international partners, should use its specific water management experience and ambitions to be the International Legal Centre of World to establish a Global Centre for Water Law and Governance