Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Water SA]]> vol. 34 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Turning concepts into community driven catchment water management solutions: Foreword to the special HELP edition</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Redressing inequities of the past from a historical perspective: The case of the Olifants basin, South Africa</b>]]> This paper analyses the continuities and changes in water management in the Olifants basin after the first decade of implementation of the National Water Act (1998). By taking a historical perspective of the basin development trajectory, the paper shows how the White minority rulers, who exerted power until 1994, systematically denied historically disadvantaged individuals (HDIs) the right to become significant water users, let alone 'economically viable' water users. In contrast, White water users undertook major water resource development, which, by the 1970s resulted in the emergence of a 'White water economy'. Under the new dispensation (post-1994), the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) took a two-pronged approach in the Olifants basin and elsewhere for redressing the inequities of the past. On the one hand, from the central top down, it opened up the 'White water economy' into a water economy serving especially 'economically viable water users', who rapidly ceased to be White only. As reflected in a range of new measures taken in the Olifants basin, in this new water economy DWAF better targets bulk domestic supplies to HDIs, has more public participation, and is strengthening its regulatory role in terms of cost-recovery, environmental issues, and pollution prevention. On the other hand DWAF seeks to fill the enormous backlog in water services delivery to HDIs, not only for domestic water uses, but increasingly also for productive uses. The major challenge of bottom-up coordinated service delivery for multiple uses through the newly established Provincial and Local Governments and the transforming line agencies is addressed under the recently launched Water for Growth and Development Initiative. <![CDATA[<b>Use of participatory scenario modelling as platforms in stakeholder dialogues</b>]]> A participatory methodology, based on dialogues between stakeholders and experts has been developed and tested in the drainage area to Kaggebo Bay in the Baltic Sea. This study is focused on the EU Water Framework Directive, with emphasis on reduction of eutrophication. The drainage area is included in the WFD administrative area of the Motala Strom River basin. A similar approach is now applied in a recently initiated project in the Thukela River basin, with focus on impacts of climate change on water resources. The methodology is based on the idea that a catchment model serves as a platform for the establishment of a common view of present conditions and the causes behind these conditions. In the following steps, this is followed by model-assisted agreement on environmental goals (i.e. what do we want the future to look like?) and local agreement on a remedy or mitigation plans in order to reduce environmental impact (e.g. eutrophication); alternatively to adapt to conditions that cannot be determined by local actions (e.g. climate change). By involving stakeholder groups in this model-supported stepwise process, it is ensured that all stakeholder groups involved have a high degree of confidence in the presented model results, and thereby enable various actors involved to share a common view, regarding both present conditions, goals and the way to reach these goals. Although this is a process that is time- (and cost-) consuming, it is hypothesised that the use of this methodology is two-pronged: it increases the willingness to carry out remedies or necessary adaptations to a changing environment, and it increases the level of understanding between the various groups and therefore ameliorates the potential for future conflicts. Compared to traditional use of model results in environmental decision-making, the experts' role is transformed from a one-way communication of final results to assistance in the various steps of the participatory process. <![CDATA[<b>Collaboration and modelling - Tools for integration in the Motueka catchment, New Zealand</b>]]> A conceptual model of integrated catchment management (ICM) is presented in which ICM is defined as a process to achieve both ecosystem resilience and community resilience. It requires not only biophysical knowledge developed by hydrologists and other environmental scientists, but an active partnership with catchment communities and stakeholders to break the 'paradigm lock' described by the UNESCO-HELP programme. This paper reports observations from ICM research in the Motueka HELP demonstration basin in the upper South Island of New Zealand. The Motueka occupies 2 170 km² of land yet the river effects are felt on the seabed more than 50 km² offshore, so the true 'catchment' is larger. A hydrologically temperate mountainous catchment with horticultural, agricultural, plantation forestry and conservation land uses, the Motueka also hosts an internationally recognised brown trout fishery. Land and water management issues driving ICM research include water allocation conflicts between instream and irrigation water uses, impacts on water quality of runoff from intensifying land uses, catchment impacts on coastal productivity and aquaculture, and how to manage catchment processes in an integrated way that addresses cumulative effects of development. Collaboration with catchment stakeholders can be viewed as having two primary purposes: • Building knowledge and commitment of resource users towards sustainable resource management (collaborative learning) • Stakeholder involvement in resource management itself (governance). Examples are presented of a Collaborative Learning Group on Sediment learning of their differing perspectives on fine sediment impacts, and a Catchment Landcare Group working with scientists to improve water quality in their river. Success factors for water user committees making decisions about water resource management include creating opportunities to communicate and build trust, share scientific knowledge on the issue, and willingness to compromise. Functioning catchment groups have potential to take on delegated governance responsibility for meeting agreed water quality and other community goals. Finally a scenario modelling framework IDEAS (Integrated Dynamic Environmental Assessment System) is presented, in which environmental indicators such as nutrient fluxes are simulated alongside socio-economic indicators such as job numbers and catchment GDP for a range of land and marine use options. <![CDATA[<b>Covenant action to facilitate integrated river basin management</b>]]> This paper outlines elements of best practice integrated river basin management and explores a procedure to implement IRBM. The procedure identifies a 'road map' for improved governance based on a best practice approach, with initial trialling in a UNESCO HELP basin in North America showing some application. But even with best practices understood, action is often only minimal and flexible, adaptable institutions are needed to underpin basin management. The covenant concept is one such institution, based on the idea of harnessing mutual trust and obligation between stakeholders. A covenant is 'signed' as a social contract and the idea of covenant described in this paper results from observations of intractable water sharing problems. This paper also outlines the components of a covenant, the factors which require consideration for implementation and ways forward. <![CDATA[<b>Involving stakeholders in transboundary water resource management: The Mesta/Nestos 'HELP' basin</b>]]> Alternative options for new private and public investment projects in the transboundary Mesta/Nestos River catchment between Bulgaria and Greece involve new dams and water storage reservoirs, agricultural irrigation systems, new tourist resorts and various water-related facilities for urban and industrial water supply. These developments are designed to be implemented in both parts of the basin (in Greece and Bulgaria), where different socio-economic conditions prevail, resulting in each country having different preferences and objectives. Alternative options should consider environmental consequences, to the impact on ecosystems and human health, and also financial and social risks. Any negative impacts on the environment, and whether these negative impacts can be prevented, should be weighted against the economic and social benefits foreseen. Sustainable implementation of private or public utility projects cannot be achieved without public participation and a clear consensus between stakeholders. The UNESCO HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy) initiative provides a rationale for breaking the 'paradigm lock' existing between the most recent scientific findings on the one side and the public, stakeholders and decision makers on the other. In this paper stakeholder involvement in the decision making process is promoted firstly by communicating the results of integrated modelling of water resource management at the basin scale, and secondly by suggesting alternative models and software in order to facilitate negotiations and final decision making processes in transboundary water resource management These models help to rank alternative projects according to the attributes of stakeholders in each country; the aggregated attributes of the stakeholders in both countries; and the aggregated goals of each country. <![CDATA[<b>Building bridges, fording streams, reaching agreement in the Lake Champlain basin: Alternatives to legislation and regulation rooted in citizen and science-based approaches to inspire watershed protection</b>]]> Challenges and opportunities arise when jointly managing international waters shared by two countries and two states with different political and governmental systems. Lake Champlain's vast watershed is shared by the states of Vermont and New York in the United States of America and the Province of Québec in Canada. Transboundary relations are characterised by consensus reached through a continuous sequence of non-binding, non-regulatory environmental agreements. Since the historic 1988 Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation on the Management of Lake Champlain, 16 additional agreements have been signed - averaging nearly one per year. They range from joint declarations and watershed plans to phosphorus standards and toxic spill responses. They are renewable agreements bearing the support and participation of state, provincial and federal agencies; local government; and businesses with a very strong citizen component. This progression of cooperative agreements falls under the auspices of the Lake Champlain Basin Program, a quasi-governmental partnership among Vermont, New York and Québec that coordinates Lake Champlain's long-term management plan, Opportunities for Action: An Evolving Plan for the Future of the Lake Champlain Basin. The Lake Champlain Basin Program achieves significant watershed improvements through its consensus-based, decision-making policies bolstered by state-to-state, state-to-province agreements. This incremental approach, steeped in multi-level partnerships and institutions, epitomises the theory of natural resource regimes which emphasise roles of intermediate institutions in environmental management. Use of non-binding, renewable agreements more easily bridges differences among jurisdictions, whether interstate, intrastate or international. Additionally, such agreements can be updated more immediately as new information and technologies emerge. Voluntary, renewable agreements can be assembled more quickly than pursuing a traditional regulatory or legislative response. It is precisely the voluntary nature of these agreements and their successes that has captured the attention of other basins worldwide as a model for replication and reaching agreement on difficult issues. <![CDATA[<b>Aquatic invasive species rapid response planning partnerships in the Lake Champlain basin: Bridging international, political, social, and economic gaps</b>]]> The Lake Champlain Basin is threatened by several non-native invasive plant and animal species. The U.S. states of Vermont and New York, and the province of Quebec, Canada share the Lake Champlain watershed. The three jurisdictions work together to protect their water resources and implement Opportunities for Action, a long-term watershed management plan for the Basin. Together they recognise the need to control the introduction, spread, and impact of non-native invasive species in order to preserve the biological and ecological integrity of the Lake Champlain ecosystem independent of political borders. The Lake Champlain Basin Program Aquatic Nuisance Species Subcommittee is developing an invasive species rapid response action plan that addresses invasive species control and spread prevention in the Basin. A rapid response is an effort to contain and control non-native invasive species introductions while they are localised in a short amount of time, such as weeks or months, before they become established and more expensive to manage. Lake managers, policy makers, scientists, academics, and representatives of local watershed organisations from the three jurisdictions have shared information and data to foster the development of a comprehensive plan. Gaps in interstate and inter-jurisdictional laws and policy have been identified by reviewing all necessary permits for aquatic invasive species control methods. Examining the interface of law, policy, and permits aids in identifying regulatory and policy inadequacies, and opportunities for corrective legislation. Partnering among diverse organisations has allowed strategic invasive species rapid response planning that builds on managers' and policy makers' concerns, provides options, fosters inter-jurisdictional cooperation, and considers social, economic, and political impacts of invasive species management. The rapid response planning process identifies lead agencies from each of the three jurisdictions, recommends the formation of one governing body, and includes detailed steps of a rapid response process. The goal of the rapid response plan is to foster dialogue among permit applicants, scientists, and regulatory agencies, to ensure the fastest action possible. The Lake Champlain Basin invasive species rapid response planning process provides an applicable model for the United Nations Educational Scientific Organisation Hydrology for the Environment, Life, and Policy (HELP) basins around the world. <![CDATA[<b>IMPETUS: Implementing HELP in the Upper Ouémé basin</b>]]> Regional climate models that take into account land-use changes indicate that in the future, a general decrease in rainfall, together with prominent surface heating, can be expected for sub-Saharan Africa and the region north of the Sahara until 2050. Due to high population growth, land use changes rapidly and influences water availability and water demand. In this context, the research project IMPETUS ('An Integrated Approach to the Efficient Management of Scarce Water Resources in West Africa') offers a range of options for sustainable management of different components of the hydrological cycle. Target areas are the Ouémé basin in Benin and the Dráa catchment in Morocco. This paper concentrates on the Ouémé basin. Based on plausible scenarios of future economic, demographic, and climate developments, the effects of land use, land cover change, climate change, and demographic development on water availability and water demand are quantified. Scenarios of future water availability and water demand for the Upper Ouémé (Benin) catchment are discussed. To calculate water availability, the output of a regional climate model was linked to a hydrological model that also considered land use change calculated by a cellular automata model. Future water requirements were computed by linking population growth and per capita water demand, which was derived from a regional survey. Furthermore, the need for water for animal husbandry was considered. The results of the 'business as usual' scenario, combined with IPCC Scenarios A1B and B2, through the year 2045 are presented. The results reveal a significant decrease in water availability (surface water and groundwater) due to a decrease in rainfall and a significant increase in evapotranspiration. Although total water consumption increases strongly, it represents only about 0.5% of the yearly renewable water resources. Comparing these data, it may be concluded that water scarcity is not a problem in Benin. However, water availability shows high temporal variations due to the rainy and the dry seasons. Even if physical water scarcity is not a limiting factor, access to water in some parts of the catchment is limited due to economic factors. <![CDATA[<b>Integrated nutrient transport modelling with respect to the implementation of the European WFD: The Wei</b><b>β</b><b>e Elster Case Study, Germany</b>]]> The goal of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) is to protect and enhance the status of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. To reach this objective an integrated methodology for the implementation of the WFD is essential. The methodology presented was developed within an interdisciplinary research project on the highly polluted 4th order Weiβe Elster River basin, a large subcatchment of the Saale basin (Germany), which is part of the UNESCO-IHP HELP program. The project focuses on nutrient management in order to achieve a good ecological status of surface waters. The paper focuses on an integrated modelling of nitrogen transport and comprises combined terrestrial and in-stream transport processes. The mitigation of diffuse and point sources pollution is thereby essential to meet the environmental objectives. Land-use scenarios on both organic farming systems and best management practices were analysed and compared with different strategies to reduce point source. The results show that the possible reduction of nitrogen inputs from point sources is much lower compared to the reduction of diffuse inputs from agricultural land use. The results on in-stream nitrogen transformation show that different morphological factors influence the nitrogen retention considerably. The potential of management measures to reduce nitrogen loads by river restoration measures seems to be limited. This is caused by infrastructural facilities that restrict attaining a natural state of river morphology. <![CDATA[<b>Helping HELP with limited resources: The Luquillo experience</b>]]> By definition the HELP approach involves the active participation of individuals from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds, including representatives of industry, academics, natural resource managers, and local officials and community leaders. While there is considerable enthusiasm and support for the integrated HELP approach, a central problem for all HELP basins is how to effectively engage individuals and groups with few, if any financial resources. In the Luquillo HELP project we have managed this issue by focusing our efforts on holding small, public meetings and workshops with technocrats and managers who are engaged in local water resource management. To date several forums have been organised, including: technical meetings with the directors of natural resource agencies; presentations and panel discussions at the meetings of local professional societies, including the societies of Civil Engineers and Architects, the Commonwealth Association of Tourism, the Association of Builders and Developers, and the Puerto Rican Association of Lawyers. During these forums HELP specialists gave presentations and led discussions on how integrated watershed management can help resolve local problems. Because the audience are directly involved with these issues, they are quite responsive to these discussions and have often provided unique solutions to common problems. Technical workshops are co-sponsored by local municipalities - these day-long workshops are hosted by a municipality and include managers from other municipalities, the local water authority, and local community leaders. Additional activities include: technical advice on water infrastructure projects is given; there are educational exchanges between local and international students, scientists, natural resource managers, and community leaders; and synthesis publications relevant to integrated water resource management are produced. Other activities have included compiling oral environmental histories and organising watershed restoration activities. This paper describes these activities and discusses the benefits and costs of each approach. <![CDATA[<b>From ideas to action: A review of implementing HELP principles in river basins with limited resources and capacity</b>]]> Davao City is overlapped by 8 watersheds all flowing into the Davao Gulf. These watersheds exemplify a range of cultural, environmental and economic stresses from the continual conversion of natural habitat for agricultural, urban, and industrial uses. These changes and their consequent pressures have not gone unnoticed and have surfaced through various channels into the political and public arenas. However, despite the awareness and actions from various sectoral initiatives, there is continual deterioration of trends across the ecosystems. Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy (HELP) is a global initiative which encourages policy makers, water managers, scientists, and end-users to work together within a field-oriented context to closely integrate science into government policies and management strategies. Through Davao City's participation in the HELP Network, the management of watersheds and water has improved not through the acquisition of additional external funds but by the increase in opportunity for dialogue between 'water-related' communities, which resulted to enhanced stakeholder understanding of issues and increased technical capacity of all involved. This paper demonstrates how the HELP principles can be applied in basins with limited resources and how these can positively influence the attitudes and behaviour of stakeholders. It highlights how HELP can act as a catalyst to motivate learning, engage competing sectors, and build collaboration to create science-backed frameworks for good water governance. <![CDATA[<b>Extending the HELP approach through the system harmonisation philosophy</b>]]> The sustainable management of the water resource will become more and more important as population demands and environmental custodianship awareness grows. The Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy (HELP) program aims to bring together scientific research in catchment management with practical application of policy and on-ground management practices. This paper builds on an existing foundation of knowledge and exposure, within the Murrumbidgee HELP catchment already recognised as a leader finding real solutions while working with multiple stakeholders. The HELP program has now moved into the implementation stage and includes 67 catchments from around the world that are looking to better utilise their water resources for sustainable communities. Of those 67 basins there are 7 demonstration basins, one of which is the Murrumbidgee. There is a need for extending HELP to non-HELP basins through lessons learnt from existing efforts. In this context System Harmonisation Framework is introduced as an integrative framework for extending HELP in irrigated catchments across the globe. The 'System Harmonisation' philosophy seeks to identify business opportunities for irrigators to become an integral part of an expanding environmental services industry and in so doing support a truly sustainable and diversified irrigation business environment. A good understanding of system wide harmonisation can be gained from how irrigation systems are linked with the catchment water cycle and how life support systems and regional economies depend on them. The system harmonisation framework involves an all encompassing approach that combines research and business principles to achieve productive and environmental improvements at the catchment level. The framework involves five feasibility steps including three research components and a business analysis component: The research components comprise analysis and characterisation of hydrologic systems, water productivity, markets and ecosystem services, and mechanisms and processes for change. The business component is based on the formation of Regional Irrigation Business Partnerships (RIBP) to explore and implement opportunities for improved productive and/or environmental outcomes through changes in water management. The system harmonisation process establishes the base physical, economic and social position of the region, identifies the key pressure points in the system and the system constraint. System harmonisation thus offers great opportunity for extending HELP to other catchments around the globe to enhance the multifunctional productivity of water resources. <![CDATA[<b>Assessing social acceptability of management options for harmonising irrigation with environmental concerns: A pilot study from the Murrumbidgee Valley, Australia</b>]]> The flows in regulated rivers are strongly dependent on water demand by downstream water users. In irrigated catchments the river flow regimes are deliberately distorted to cater for crop demand, with significant deleterious ecological impacts. A number of opportunities exist to manipulate irrigation demand and supply to provide more natural seasonality of flows and optimise the social, environmental and economic outcomes from water use in a catchment. Possible options to achieve this goal include improved cropping mix incentives, groundwater - surface water substitution, intra and inter-seasonal water trading and harmonisation of on- and off-farm storage, distribution, application and drainage infrastructure with environmental outcomes. Each of these options will impact in some way on irrigation and wider communities. In this paper 'community' involvement in setting irrigation research agendas and evaluating water management options in the Murrumbidgee Valley, Australia is explored. A brief assessment of social acceptability, combined with hydrological and economic models, was found to be an effective approach for scoping different irrigation demand management options to improve seasonality of flows. In this study the value of articulating assessment criteria when dealing with new and potentially disruptive options for the management of irrigation demand in a catchment context is demonstrated.