Sustainable Water Management A definition Defining Sustainable Water Management Sustainable Water Management in India Factors limiting the adoption of SWAM (India and the South Asia Region) What is Sustainable Water Management? The term uses two important concepts with respect to water: sustainability and management. In order to understand Sustainable Water Management, it is important to define these concepts.
Sustainability The Broadband Report popularized the term sustainability for human and environmental development when It was published In 1987 An the report, sustainable costless were defined as ones where the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the needs of future generations. What the Broadband definition implies is an equitable distribution of the resource not only spatially between users in a given location, but temporally between users over time.
The idea is to allocate the resource in such a way as for all, including the environment, to have an adequate share without making any one group worse off, both now and in the future. To achieve sustainability, there must be a rethinking of what we consider a basic need. T Is common In our society to say that we need a given resource, but how much of It do we really need to use? Also, how do we decide what the basic needs of our ecosystem and the organisms living within It are?
Defining what constitutes a basic need is perhaps the greatest challenge to adopting sustainable practices in our daily lives, as interpretations of need vary widely from region to region, village to village and even from person to person. Management There has been a shift in recent years from the traditional top-down’ approach to a more open management system where all levels have a say in the allocation and use f the resource. F properly done, this system ensures that the needs and concerns of those most affected by the use of the resource are addressed, without loosing sight of the wider Issues touching the society as a whole. Information is key to good management. Understanding the needs of the stakeholders, as well as ten poss. Deletes Ana Limitations AT ten resource, Is anemia to manage it effectively. This requires sharing both indigenous and modern scientific knowledge, as well as establishing a dialogue between individuals and large institutions.
With the right information, appropriate strategies can be formulated to eel with the realities of resource management, such as distribution, access, rights, Needless to say, effective communication necessary to manage a resource shared between various users and governed by different levels. Only once the needs of each user are understood can the resource be allocated and managed in a sustainable manner. The purpose of Sustainable Water Management (SWAM) is simply to manage our water resources while taking into account the needs of present and future users. However, SWAM is much more than its name implies.
It involves a whole new way of looking at how we use our precious water resources. The International Hydrological Programmer, a UNESCO initiative, noted: “It is recognized that water problems cannot be solved by quick technical solutions, solutions to water problems require the consideration of cultural, educational, communication and scientific aspects. Given the increasing political recognition of the importance of water, it is in the area of sustainable freshwater management that a major contribution to avoid/solve water- related problems, including future conflicts, can be found. Therefore, SWAM attempts to deal with water in a holistic fashion, taking into account the various sectors effecting water use, including political, economic, social, technological and environmental considerations. Since the Mar del Plat Water Conference hosted by the UN in 1977, SWAM has been high on the international agenda. Later conferences and workshops have addressed the issue and have attempted to refine the concept as more and more research has been done in the area.
The current understanding of SWAM is based primarily upon the principles devised in Dublin during the International Conference on Water and the Environment (ICE) in 1992, namely: 1 . Freshwater is a finite and valuable resource that is essential to sustain life, the environment and development. 2. The development and management of our water resources should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners and policy makers at all levels. 3. Women play a central role in the provision, management and safeguarding of water resources. 4. Water has an economic value and should therefore be seen as an economic good.
I nose principles rennet ten Importance AT water In our ally elves Ana ten need Tort proper communication, gender equity, and economic and policy incentives to manage the resource properly. The statistics show an alarming trend for India: rapid population growth, arbitration and industrialization will lead to a greater demand for an increasingly smaller supply of water resources in the area. How will India avert the looming crisis? The needs of India, and indeed the South Asian region to which it belongs, are unique. Nowhere else in the world does population growth and poverty play such a large role in affecting water resource issues.
To address the specific concerns of the region, the World Water Council formed a Regional Water Vision 2025 for South Asia. A product of dialogue and debate between organizations from the region, the Vision 025 reflects the current position of South Asia on the sustainable development of their water resources: “Poverty in South Asia will be eradicated and living conditions of all people will be uplifted to sustainable levels of comfort, health and well-being through co-ordinate and integrated development and management of water resources in the region. This vision reflects the importance of providing for basic human needs to ensure that the livelihoods of all can be improved. In the case of South Asia, poverty and reduced access to safe water resources has limited the ability of the poor to improve their tuition, which has only served to perpetuate the poverty cycle especially among rural populations and women.
The South Asia Regional Water Vision 2025 identified a number of common issues for water management in the region: Welfare for the people and equitable distribution of resources Economic growth and development Efficient use of water resources Sustainability and environmental aspects Policy and institutional aspects Increasing role of the market in water management These issues affect both the region as a whole and the individual nations in varying degrees.
For India, the two most important issues are how to balance the country rapid economic growth with the need to ensure equitable distribution to all sectors, in particular the urban and rural drinking water supply. Top Factors limiting the adoption of SWAM in India and the South Asia Region A study conducted by the U. S. Agency for International Development (SAID) on water resource issues in South Asia described the three issues limiting sustainable management of water resources in the region, namely: Policy Taluses Ana Institutional weaknesses, Including cost recovery Issues; Competition for water; and .
Health and environmental needs and effects. Policy failures and Institutional Weaknesses Inadequate policy and regulation, combined with a non-transparent and non- participatory process, is at the root of many of the water management problems plaguing the region. Until recently, water management projects have been the almost exclusive domain of government agencies. Government led and funded water development projects have seldom involved the private and volunteer sectors to ensure that the needs of the public are met.
Furthermore, full funding of the rejects has resulted in low cost recovery and an unrealistic valuation of users’ willingness to pay, leading to continued abuse of water resources. No or little cooperation exists between the various agencies responsible for the management of water resources in different sectors such as environment, health and agriculture. The result is a planning process which does not take into account the needs of these different interest groups and a lack of accountability on the part of any given agency.
Many of the pollution control measures are based on “end of pipe” principles rather than a minimization/prevention approach. Most of the current policies still encourage developing supplies of water resources rather than encouraging demand management. Top of Factors Top Competition for Water It has been said that the next wars will be fought over water. Increasing competition for dwindling water resources will continue to pose a greater threat to national and international security.
Already, conflicts have arisen between a number of South Asian countries and also between neighboring states within these countries. But, competition for water occurs not only between neighboring countries or states, but also between different user groups within a given watershed. Already, the urban, agricultural and industrial demands for water are greater than the available supplies. The traditional approach to solving competition issues has been to develop further water supplies with the construction of dams, reservoirs or other engineered structures.
However, even this is becoming difficult since the remaining water resources are no longer easily accessible and readily developed at reasonable costs. Therefore, there is a need to optimize the use and distribution of the current supplies to meet the needs of all users. This would include implementing conservation measures such as reduced wastage and leakage, demand regulations, low-flow technologies, wastewater reclamation and reuse, etc. Inadequate data on water resource availability Ana use NAS amperes attempts to accurately determine water quantity and quality situation in South Asia.
In addition, the lack of a standardized indicator has made it difficult to evaluate performance and to facilitate reporting and data collection. Improvements in both of these areas will assist managers in determining how best to allocate water resources among the efferent users. Top of Factors Top Health and Environmental Needs and Effects Almost one half of the population in South Asia lacks access to potable water and adequate sanitation facilities.
There is obviously a need to combat water supply and sanitation deficiencies, as well as a need to prevent pollution and manage extreme events such as floods and droughts. Yet, past development projects have come at a price. Negative impacts of these include: increased prevalence of mosquitoes and other disease vectors, displacement and over-riding of property rights/ownership, deteriorating and colonization of agricultural land, intrusion of salt water into aquifers, destruction of wetlands and loss of biodiversity in riparian and coastal areas.
The poor success of past projects can be attributed to insufficient data on the links between health and water quality, as well as little or no public involvement in the decision-making process. In addition, the needs of the ecosystem to maintain its functions has often been omitted from water-balance budgets. The result has been projects that do not fully address the needs of the public or the environment.