Volume 1, No. 3-4, July, 2013
Special issue: Integrated Water Resources Management
Integrated Water Resources Management:
A Comparative Laboratory for Water Governance
Mark Lubella,* and Jurian Edelenbosb,aProfessor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California at Davis
bProfessor, Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
In this article the special issue on Integrated Water Resources Management is introduced. This special issue aims to add substantially to comparative cross-country knowledge building. The paper builds upon the insights gained from the various contributions to this special issue, coming from 13 different countries spread across the globe. The concept of IWRM is discussed from the angles of the Rio-Dublin principles, Global Water Partnership definition and concepts and ideas from adaptive governance. Furthermore, integration is discussed as the core of IWRM: functional, societal and institutional integration. Based on the insight gained from the range of contributions from this special issue, we argue that IWRM needs more systematic and comparative approaches from both administrative (de)centralization and economic development points of view. Moreover, in our comparative study we found trade-offs between the three identified forms of integration. We argue that a perspective of an adaptive walk is required that tries to gain more understanding in specific decentralization-centralization configurations per case/country/region leading to (misfits in) functional, societal and institutional integration regarding IWRM.
Integrated water resources management, functional, societal and institutional integration, adaptive governance, (de)centralization, economic development.
Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin:
A Century of Polycentric Experiments in Cross-Border Integration of Water Resources Management
G.R. Marshalla,*, D. Connellb, and B.M. TaylorcaUniversity of New England
bAustralian National University
cCSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
We respond in this article to scholars having identified a theory-practice gap commonly afflicting applications of integrated water resources management (IWRM) internationally, and thus a need for the concept to be recast according to evidence of how integration of fragmented water management efforts actually occurs. The Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) is employed as a longitudinal case study for this purpose, focusing particularly on its cross-border integration challenges. We frame IWRM as the pursuit of coherent collective action by the multiple enterprises (public, private, civic and hybrid) typically constituting the polycentric public industry involved in managing water resources. We look beyond approaches involving overt coordination to other approaches with potential to contribute towards such coherence. We find that Australian governments are no longer able to overtly coordinate the suite of interdependent enterprises relevant to the success of water management efforts in the Basin. Their success in strengthening coherence or integration in these efforts has come to depend increasingly on their ability to devise governance arrangements capable of catalysing (e.g., by fostering conditions supportive of fruitful competitive rivalry or informal collaborations) the kinds of dynamics through which more of the required integration of management efforts emerges on a self-organised basis.
Integrated water resources management, collective action, polycentricity, jurisdictional integrity, Australia, Murray-Darling Basin.
Adaptive Governance and Integrated Water Resources Management in Argentina
Ramiro Berardoa,*, Marcos Meyerb, and Tomás OliviercaSchool of Government and Public Policy. University of Arizona
bSchool of Political Science and International Relations. Catholic University of Cordoba (Argentina)
cSchool of Government and Public Policy. University of Arizona
Abstract: Since the early 2000s, international organizations and national and provincial authorities in Argentina have promoted a number of institutional initiatives to implement Integrated Water Resources Management in the country. The two main initiatives are the adoption of the Guiding Principles of Water Policy, and the ongoing design of the National Federal Plan of Water Resources. These are complemented by the creation of the Federal Water Council, a new nation-wide venue that gives the provincial and national governments the chance to engage in discussions related to the improvement of water management in the country. We analyze the process leading to the creation of this set of new institutions through the theoretical lens of Adaptive Governance (AG), and assess how well national and provincial authorities have faced the challenges of representation (who participates in decision-making processes) and process design (how decisions are reached) that are so critical in the early stages of addressing interjurisdictional water problems. Drawing on in-depth interviews with decision-makers, we also identify other challenges to AG in Argentina, including the problem of discontinuation of policy efforts that could lead to a better implementation of IWRM principles, and the pervasive presence of personalismo in making decisions that affect water management.
Adaptive Governance, Integrated Water Resources Management, Developing Countries.
IWRM in the United States:
Integration in the Chesapeake Bay Program
Judith A. Layzera,* and Alexis Schulmanba Associate Professor, Head, Environmental Policy and Planning Group,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
b Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Urban Studies and Planning,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In the United States, IWRM has been slow to catch on as a label. But for decades, the concept has been implemented in a variety of forms—from small, local projects to large, multi-state efforts—and under a variety of rubrics—from interstate river commissions to ecosystem-based management and “watershed approach.” As of 2012, there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of IWRM-like initiatives under way in the United States; they are united by their focus on the river basin or watershed as a whole, their efforts to engage stakeholders and coordinate the activities of the agencies and jurisdictions operating within a watershed or river basin, and their emphasis on ecological restoration. It is unclear, however, whether and how these enterprises have improved either the process or the outcomes of water management. Therefore, this essay asks: how, and to what extent, has a commitment to the core principles of IWRM yielded genuine integration in water management, and with what consequences for the environment? To answer these questions, we examine the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), which is often described as the nation’s premier watershed-scale management initiative. Based on journalistic accounts, in-depth interviews, and an extensive review of program documents, we conclude that the CBP has enhanced technical, institutional, and—to a lesser extent—sectoral integration in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Because the program has relied almost exclusively on voluntary cooperation among state partners and willing compliance by water users, however, implementation of collaboratively developed plans has been uneven and inadequate to meet the program’s goals. With neither the authority nor the resources to compel behavior changes, the CBP has been unable to alter the powerful and longstanding incentives facing program participants and stakeholders. As a consequence, despite nearly thirty years of integrated knowledge production and planning, the watershed has seen minimal ecological improvement.
IWRM, integration, water management, Chesapeake Bay Program.
Integrating the Principles of Integrated Water Resources Management?
River Basin Planning in England and Wales
Oliver Fritscha,* and David BensonbaUniversity of Leeds
bUniversity of East Anglia
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is now a globally generic concept encompassing a multitude of environmental governance approaches in different national contexts. However, conspicuous gaps in the IWRM literature concerning the application of this concept in practice are still evident suggesting a need for further theoretically driven comparative research. In view of these gaps, this article examines IWRM in one leading national context with a long established tradition of holistically managing water resources, namely England and Wales. The article assesses how this discourse has been interpreted, the extent to which it has been integrated into water management, the key country-level variables shaping IWRM and the potential for lesson drawing for other states, particularly in the European Union (EU). Analysis shows that IWRM principles are being implemented under current EU legislative measures and integration appears advanced. A significant exogenous driver of change is the EU Water Framework Directive. However, problems have emerged relating to aspects of IWRM integration, linked primarily to endogenous path dependency of institutions and regulatory culture. While this approach could therefore be considered ‘integrating’ it has some way to go before being fully ‘integrated’. On this basis, England and Wales provide lessons, both negative and positive, on IWRM for policy makers in other comparable states.
Integrated Water Resources Management, IWRM, Water Framework Directive, river basin management, Europeanisation, lesson drawing, path dependency, regulatory culture.
Water Resources Management and Governance as Part of an Overall Framework for Growth and Development
Cecilia Tortajadaa,* and Yugal K. JoshibaPresident, Third World Centre for Water Management
and former Visiting Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore.
Avenida Manantial Oriente 27,
Los Clubes, Atizapán, Estado de México, 52958, Mexico.
bFormer Research Associate, Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore.
At present, Senior Divisional Commissioner (RPF), Northern Railway,
Delhi Division, Office of Sr DSC/RPF/Delhi (West),
Panchkuiyan Road, New Delhi-1, India.
Singapore has recognized the importance of universal principles and paradigms in the management of water resources whilst also acknowledging that they do not automatically lead to improvement unless there is a strong emphasis on policy and programme implementation. As a result, the city-state has developed a comprehensive, holistic vision for the overall management of its water resources, making them essential elements for overall development, economic growth and national security. This paper discusses the city-state’s long-term, comprehensive water resources strategies including their policy-making, planning, management, governance and development. It also argues that Singapore is one of the very few countries, if not the only one, that has developed its water policies as part of the overall development goals of the city-state.
Singapore, water resources, governance, management, development.
Institutional Evolution in Water Management
in the Czech Republic and Poland
Piotr Kowalczaka, Piotr Matczakb,* and Lenka SlavikovacaInstitute for Agricultural and Forest Environment,
Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan, Poland
bInstitute of Sociology,
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
cInstitute for Economic and Environmental Policy,
University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic
Concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) constitutes internationally recognized framework for water management. Its implementation faces difficulties though, and introduction of IWRM is country specific. In the paper the shifts in water resources governance in Czech Republic and Poland after 1989 are analyzed. It is investigated, taking the new insti- tutional economics framework, which factors were responsible for water policy changes, with IWRM as the reference framework of the institutional reform, after 1989. For both countries there were two major, water resources management shifts, one connected with the collapse of communism (1989/1990), the second – the EU accession (2002). In both countries the general direction of water policy changes tend towards reduction of the direct state control. Similarities between the countries dominate, and the EU accession reinforced them. One similarity of the two countries is the reluctance of the water engineers towards the substance of the WFD. “Hydraulic mission”, aiming at harnessing the power of water dominates in both countries. Enforcement for IWRM comes mainly from outside the water sector. The Czech and Polish cases suggest that public participation is not the panacea for improving water management. The further development of IWRM in the Czech Republic and Poland is uncertain.
Integrated Water Resources Management, water management, Czech Republic, Poland, institutional change.
Integrated Water Resource Management in South Africa
Marius ClaassenCSIR, PO Box 395, Pretoria 0001, RSA
IWRM operates within different ideologies, ranging from empiricism to postmodernism when describing thought; from neorealism to classic structuralism in political economy; and from rationalism to social constructivism in international relations. These ideologies manifest in political dogmas and in the way that society organizes governance, with the private good vs. public good paradigms and the institutional hierarchy vs. a network approaches being important for Integrated Water Resources Management. With the history of sustainable development spanning Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” to Agenda 21, and beyond, IWRM emphasizes an enabling policy and regulating environment; institutional roles and responsibilities; and management instruments as prerequisites to deploying water resources to support social and economic development while ensuring sustainability of the resource. Water resource management in South Africa has moved from a focus on private good, with a strong role of the state and institutions to a greater emphasis on public good and a network approach. While this shift has brought about short term social and economic befits, the sustainability of water resources has been compromised. The challenges in implementing progressive legislation is reflected in a shortage of skilled people, weaknesses in management instruments and difficulties in finding a balance between the role of the state and institutions and the effective function of networks to achieve development outcomes.
IWRM, Water, South Africa, Sustainable development
Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the United States:
An Inquiry into the Role of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
John Hoornbeeka*and Evan HansenbaKent State University
Integrated water resource management (IWRM) has become a focal point of discussion about water management. While there are differences in viewpoint regarding IWRM’s use and effectiveness, two key elements that are discussed in relation to the concept of IWRM are 1) developing more holistic perspectives, and 2) engaging stakeholders in water management processes. We investigate the relationship between these two key elements of IWRM and water management practices associated with Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLS) in the United States (US). Drawing data from all 63 TMDL reports approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) between 1998 and 2006 for the states of Ohio and West Virginia, we assess whether these key elements of IWRM are incorporated into TMDL practices. We also conduct preliminary tests to assess the relationship between these key elements of IWRM and watershed restoration progress as perceived by state environmental officials.
The data we collect suggest that Ohio and West Virginia are creating holistic information on watershed management as they develop TMDL reports and that they are engaging stakeholders in TMDL processes in a number of cases. We also find positive associations between the incorporation of key elements of IWRM and perceived progress in watershed restoration. The data we present also suggest that steps are being taken to implement TMDLs in Ohio and West Virginia, but they indicate that the progress being achieved is modest compared to the ambitious goals of the American Clean Water Act. Our data and analyses are limited in several key respects. However, they do suggest that broad-based watershed planning and stakeholder engagement— practices consistent with IWRM—may contribute positively to TMDL implementation and watershed restoration progress. They also suggest that TMDL processes could play a positive role in supporting more aggressive IWRM efforts in the future.
Water pollution, water policy, Clean Water Act (CWA), Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), holistic water management, stakeholder engagement, collaborative watershed management.
IWRM in the Swedish Context:
A Voluntary Move to IWRM Principles or
a Legal Necessity to Comply with the European Union Water Framework Directive?
Geoffrey D.Gooch* and Susan BaggettDundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science,
University of Dundee,
DD1 4HN, Dundee, Scotland, UK
With the process of implementation of the WFD in Sweden, IWRM principles of sectoral integration, the use of hydrological units such as the river basin as administrative entities and public and stakeholder participation have become accepted in theory, if not always so in practice. Five water districts were created in Sweden based on hydrological borders and the flow of water into, mainly, the Baltic Sea. As such this involves a major change in management paradigms, from earlier systems based on administrative (county and local) borders to the watershed as a unit of administration. The introduction of the WFD has also encouraged a process of horizontal integration which consists of interactions between ministries and agencies at a) the state level, b) the county authorities at a regional level, and c) local authorities. Cooperation between county authorities is especially noteworthy, as each of the water districts in the country include a number of counties and their authorities. In order to facilitate participation water councils have been developed or created; these are made up of representatives of authorities, water users and other interested parties who pool resources, usually in order to monitor water quality and use. Water councils have existed since the 1950’s in southern Sweden, but are a relatively new phenomenon in the north, where ownership patterns dominated by the state and large companies did not encourage the active involvement of users and the public in water management. Public participation, a central aspect of both IWRM and the EU WFD, has generally been organised through the involvement of representatives of organisations, and has usually been limited toinformative and consultative aspects of participation and not to shared decision-making.
IWRM, WFD, water governance
Integrated Water Resources Management in Hungary
Béla Borsosa* and Jan SendzimirbaInstitute of Geography,
Pécs University of Sciences, Pécs, Hungary
bInternational Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
This paper is a consideration of how IWRM is being established and implemented in Hungary. Following a general introduction to domestic water resources management, it describes how throughout Europe river basin management, both within and between member states, continues to develop within the guidance of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Shortcomings and imperfections plague the EU’s decision making mechanisms and approaches with regard to the implementation of a comprehensive water management practice. The IWRM potential for the Hungarian Tisza river is presented through two distinct management concepts, offering integrated solutions for the problems in water management on the Hungarian Tisza: (1) Advancement of the Vásárhelyi Plan (VTT), based on large man made reservoirs outside the flood control works, in the open floodway on agricultural land; and (2) Integrated land development (ILD), a concept involving controlled discharge of mid-level water onto the open floodplain by ways of channels and clever water governance to avoid floods. The political and institutional context, the social context, psychology and value preferences all have an influence on the possibilities to practical implementation of IWRM solutions in the country. There are barriers and opportunities, but the structural and functional potentials exist to switch the system onto a truly integrated and adaptive management path which will happen hopefully sooner or later as external factors such as climate change, extreme weather events and internal ones like untenable current practices or recurrent flooding, drought and stagnating excess water incidents pave the road for a paradigm shift.
Hungary, Tisza river, Water Framework Directive, integrated river management, integrated land development, advancement of the Vásárhelyi Plan
The Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in Luxembourg:
Regional Compliance vs. Cross-border Cooperation?
Carmen MagandaUniversity of Luxembourg
This article identifies the importance of analyzing the management of transboundary waters as a relevant governance issue intrinsically related to integrated water resources management (IWRM), within the framework of bilateral action applying the principle of basin-wide co-operation and public participation in policy-making processes. It does so by examining the nature and impact of policy-making related to the integrated management of border waters and the implementation of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) on the International River Basin Districts (IRBD) in which the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg participates. The article addresses the following questions: How does one apply integrated water resource management in cross-border areas? And, what is Luxembourg’s government/water administration’s relationship to the WFD? The literature on governance in small states generally highlights the efficiency and effectiveness of these polities and how well they are integrated in globalized economies as they are strong supporters of multilateral governance through participation in regional organizations. This article, however, shows that Luxembourg’s implementation of the WFD and IWRM does not directly fit the logic of this academic literature on small states, thus, presenting a conceptual puzzle.
Cross-border cooperation, European Water Framework Directive (WFD), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), International River Basin Districts (IRBD), Transboundary Water Management (TWM), Luxembourg, Greater Region, Administration de la Gestion de l’Eau-Luxembourg (AGEL).
Integrated Water Resources Management in the Netherlands.
Historical Trends and Current Practices in the Governance of Integration
Dutch water management has experienced a gradual evolution in which integration has become an important objective. Recently, over a short period, the pace has quickened in the integration of water management and land-use planning practices in the Netherlands. In this article, we describe the historical evolution of integrated water resources management (IWRM) with regard to its functional dimension (the substantive dimension: the functions included in the dominant definition of water management) and its vertical dimension (the governance levels and actors involved). We compare a historical description with actual practices of integration in the context of the recently launched water management policy, the national Delta Program, aimed at improving the climate robustness of the Dutch delta. To understand the challenge of integration, we first provide a theoretical elaboration of the integration challenge in the context of IWRM. Then, we describe the evolution of integration within Dutch water management. Subsequently, we describe the Delta Program as an actual case of IWRM. Because of various political and economic conditions, this program can be seen as an interruption of the gradual trend towards more integration, both functional and vertical, in Dutch water governance.
IWRM, horizontal integration, vertical integration, the Netherlands.