Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 March 2024) | Viewed by 11674

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Meteorology and Water Management National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB), Warszawa, Poland
Interests: water management; hydromorphology; water resources; environmental development; eco-engineering; hydrology; climate resilience and adaptation; blue-green infrastructure; environmental protection; environmental monitoring
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Applied Mathematics, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: simulation models, weather generators, climate change, hydroclimate

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Earth Sciences and Environmental Management, University of Wrocław, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: environmental planning and management; sponge city; water resource management; water environment and aquatic ecosystem restoration, nature-based solutions; water quality assessment; water chemistry; blue-green infrastructure; wetland surface-groundwater interactions; sustainable development

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Earth Sciences and Environmental Management, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
Interests: blue-green infrastructure; water resources; climate adaptation; environmental protection; urban planning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The OECD defines Water Governance as a set of political, institutional and administrative principles and practices, as well as formal and non-formal processes, in which stakeholders can articulate their expectations and needs in the field of water management. Such knowledge allows for decision-making and the implementation of actions depending on the needs of stakeholders (OECD 2015). In other words, governance refers to the role of institutions and the relationships between organizations and social groups involved in decision-making processes regarding water, both in different sectors and between urban, rural and international areas. Water management should be efficient, effective and inspire confidence within society. Sustainable Water Management (SWM) refers to using water in a way that meets current ecological, social and economic needs without compromising the possibility of meeting these needs in the future. Currently, SWM requires taking into account climate change, which is currently causing an increase in the frequency of extreme phenomena that are, indeed, unfavorable for the management of water resources; these include droughts, floods and heavy rainfall, which may all jeopordize the ability of systems to achieve the objectives of water management. In recent years, multiple innovative practices and experiments in water management have been undertaken across the world, in order to implement sustainable water management practices. This approach has changed our perception of the environment, so that it is now regarded as another entity that utilizes the water system for which we should also provide resources of appropriate quality and quantity. This Special Issue particularly welcomes studies on the latest knowledge in the field of water management, with particular emphasis on approaches to the sustainable management of water resources in the era of climate change. We are interested in the following topics:

  • Innovative water management
  • Sustainable management of water resources
  • Adapting to climate change in water management
  • Spatial development of riverside and coastal areas
  • Problems of blue infrastructure development in urban areas
  • Water environment and aquatic ecosystem restoration
  • Good practices in the sustainable management of water resources in different sectors
  • Social and stakeholder involvement in water management
  • Monitoring sustainable water management
  • Decision support systems for water management
  • Risk assessment in water management
  • Policy coherence in water management

Dr. Mariusz Adynkiewicz-Piragas
Prof. Dr. Leszek Kuchar
Dr. Alicja Edyta Krzemińska
Dr. Anna Zaręba
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • water management
  • sustainable management of water resources
  • water management
  • water policies
  • climate change
  • adapting to climate change
  • monitoring of water resources
  • involvement of water users
  • decision support systems
  • water tourism
  • blue-green infrastructure

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 1361 KiB  
Article
Water Infrastructure System Leakage Analysis: Evaluation of Factors Impacting System Performance and Opportunity Cost
by Keith H. Horbatuck and Mario G. Beruvides
Water 2024, 16(8), 1080; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16081080 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Concerns over both water quality and quantity continue to increase globally. As the need for useable and potable water becomes more of a widespread issue, there is an opportunity to review and consider alternatives to how water is used, consumed, and sustained for [...] Read more.
Concerns over both water quality and quantity continue to increase globally. As the need for useable and potable water becomes more of a widespread issue, there is an opportunity to review and consider alternatives to how water is used, consumed, and sustained for future use by the world’s population. A review of data across cities within North America shows improvement opportunities in water infrastructure systems. Using water audit and loss control data from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Water Research Foundation (WRF), an analysis is provided to define opportunities for mitigating water losses among select North American Water Infrastructure systems in the U.S. states of Georgia and California. The research methodology used includes statistical analysis data while grouping utility sizes to identify utility cost opportunities. Variables on water loss and customer cost that have a positive impact on overall and long-term water system sustainability are identified. The analysis shows California, while having firm water guidance and higher rates compared to Georgia, also demonstrates less overall water loss. The results of the analysis are presented, showing comparison characteristics and opportunities for additional change to improve utility funding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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20 pages, 7413 KiB  
Article
Large-Scale Two-Dimensional Cascade Modeling of the Odra River for Flood Hazard Management
by Robert Banasiak
Water 2024, 16(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16010039 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 830
Abstract
Large-scale two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling at high resolution is still rarely performed because of its high computational cost and the lack of topographical data for some areas. Despite this, such modeling has been performed for the Odra River, the second largest river in Poland. [...] Read more.
Large-scale two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling at high resolution is still rarely performed because of its high computational cost and the lack of topographical data for some areas. Despite this, such modeling has been performed for the Odra River, the second largest river in Poland. This river has a high potential for flooding, which has been severely experienced many times in history, most recently in 1997 and 2010, when floods caused large losses. Since then, many different types of activities have been executed in order to reduce the risk of flooding. The paper presents a 2D modeling concept created during these activities. Given that the river valley is up to several kilometers wide, and consists of many complex topographical features and hydrotechnical facilities, a cascade of 25 2D models in MIKE21 software was developed. It covers a 600 km long section of the Odra River and an area of 5700 km2 in total. A regular grid resolution of 4–6 m was used in the modeling. The models were applied for numerous purposes, first for the elaboration of flood hazard and flood risk maps for larger cities, and then for the verification of historic flood data and stage–discharge relations at gauge stations, as well as the verification of design discharges via flood routing. Other important uses were the evaluation of the effectiveness of flood mitigating works, including the feasibility study for the Racibórz reservoir, and the assessment of flood hazard due to embankment failure or ice jamming. Selected applications, as well as practical aspects of the model’s preparation and use, are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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15 pages, 2290 KiB  
Article
Community Management of Groundwater under a Private Property Regime: An Example of Institutional Local Adaptation to Overexploitation Problems in the Copiapó Aquifer, Chile
by Rodrigo Fuster, Katherinne Silva-Urrutia, Cristian Escobar-Avaria, José Miguel Valdés-Negroni, Gustavo Abrigo-Cornejo and Hilda Moya-Jofré
Water 2023, 15(24), 4257; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15244257 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 762
Abstract
The governance model established in Chilean water law delegates responsibility for groundwater management to private water rights owners. The Copiapó aquifer in the Atacama Region, Chile, has problems of overexploitation resulting from intensive use of the resource. This is explained by the limited [...] Read more.
The governance model established in Chilean water law delegates responsibility for groundwater management to private water rights owners. The Copiapó aquifer in the Atacama Region, Chile, has problems of overexploitation resulting from intensive use of the resource. This is explained by the limited information on the water availability in the aquifer and the existence of legally granted water rights whose flows exceed the rate of natural recharge. In this context, water users formed Chile’s first groundwater users’ community in the Copiapó basin for the collective administration of the aquifer. Although this organization is regulated by Chilean water law, the way in which its members participate in decision-making processes and some self-management mechanisms that they have implemented are local institutional arrangements that go beyond the rules established in the Water Code, showing this organization to be an empirical case of institutional adaptation to the overdepletion of an aquifer. The local institutional arrangements include incorporating environmental protection objectives for aquifers and wetlands, establishing an institutional arrangement that guarantees the participation in the decision-making processes of different water uses and users, developing an internal management model that promotes temporary transfers of partial volumes of a water right and carrying out studies to improve water management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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17 pages, 1435 KiB  
Article
How Important for Society Is Recreation Provided by Multi-Purpose Water Reservoirs? Welfare Analysis of the Vltava River Reservoir System
by Kateřina Mácová and Zuzana Kozáková
Water 2023, 15(10), 1966; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101966 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
Contrary to the other functions of multi-purpose reservoirs, recreational use is not associated with a tangible social value, which hinders the search for new balances among optimal uses of water that will likely be needed under climate change. The objective of this study [...] Read more.
Contrary to the other functions of multi-purpose reservoirs, recreational use is not associated with a tangible social value, which hinders the search for new balances among optimal uses of water that will likely be needed under climate change. The objective of this study is to analyze visitation behavior and its patterns at a large-scale reservoir system on the Vltava River to quantify the total social benefits associated with recreation in monetary terms and to suggest how the magnitude of estimated recreation welfare relates to hydro-energy benefits, which are in usual practice taken much more into account than recreation in the strategic management of water dams. The elicited average consumer surplus per person and trip is EUR 55.7, which yields a total yearly recreation value of EUR 34 billion (ranging between 22 and 57). When compared to, e.g., the social value of hydro-energy generation, the actual yearly recreation welfare represents 1/3 of this nowadays more prioritized use. The results of the study bring new information for water management bodies that has been missing up to now, and they bring new arguments for reaching socially optimal water use in the strategic and operational management of the cascade of dams. From this perspective, the actual strategic relative prioritization of these two reservoir functions at the pilot site may be viewed as rational. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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Review

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21 pages, 3989 KiB  
Review
Comparative Analysis of Water Sustainability Indices: A Systematic Review
by Marcin Pawel Jarzebski, Daniel Karthe, Saroj Kumar Chapagain, Martiwi Diah Setiawati, Chethika Gunasiri Wadumestrige Dona, Jian Pu and Kensuke Fukushi
Water 2024, 16(7), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16070961 - 27 Mar 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
The achievement of water sustainability necessitates the development and application of comprehensive assessment tools to monitor and evaluate the impact of water resource management. This article presents a comprehensive comparative analysis of various water sustainability indices, emphasizing their underlying principles, methodologies, and potential [...] Read more.
The achievement of water sustainability necessitates the development and application of comprehensive assessment tools to monitor and evaluate the impact of water resource management. This article presents a comprehensive comparative analysis of various water sustainability indices, emphasizing their underlying principles, methodologies, and potential applications. Our study reveals the diverse landscape of existing indices, illustrating that even indices with similar names can vary significantly in scope and methodology. Via a systematic review of 124 publications, this study provides insights into existing composite indices related to water sustainability, highlighting their specific applications and potential contributions to water resource management and sustainability. The information gathered from the selected papers was synthesized and analyzed thematically to identify common patterns through keyword co-occurrence mapping, SDG mapping, standard review protocols, and cluster analyses. Through a cluster analysis, we identified six distinct clusters of indices, highlighting the need for careful consideration in selecting appropriate ones. Moreover, our analysis of co-occurring keywords underscores the close relationship between sustainable development, water resources, water supply, and water conservation within the context of water-related indices. Notably, these indices address not only sustainable development goal six but also a number of other interconnected goals. It was also found that “sustainability index” is a common name for different nature water indices. This review also identifies research gaps in the existing literature. However, significant limitations exist, including a lack of historical application and future projections for many current water sustainability indicators. Without the ability to track changes over time and project the future, identifying areas of improvement and measuring progress toward long-term water sustainability goals becomes challenging. Furthermore, many indices are complex and designed for watershed or regional levels, limiting their adaptability to different contexts. Despite these challenges, indices remain valuable tools for assessing and managing water resources sustainably, addressing various dimensions of sustainability, and supporting decision-making processes across different sectors and contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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12 pages, 863 KiB  
Review
Water Market Development in the Yellow River Basin: Challenges and Opportunities
by Yan Chen, Yuhan Yan and Tingju Zhu
Water 2024, 16(6), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16060894 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Water market development in the Yellow River Basin (YRB) unfolds new opportunities for alleviating water scarcity and improving water productivity. However, the further development of an effective water market in the basin faces challenges such as unclear water rights, regulatory deficiencies, market deficiencies, [...] Read more.
Water market development in the Yellow River Basin (YRB) unfolds new opportunities for alleviating water scarcity and improving water productivity. However, the further development of an effective water market in the basin faces challenges such as unclear water rights, regulatory deficiencies, market deficiencies, and insufficient compensation to third-parties, among others. Studying water market development in Western countries provides useful insights for addressing similar challenges, thus providing useful case studies despite the different cultural, economic, institutional, and political settings. This paper investigates water markets in the Murray–Darling Basin in Australia, the western United States, and Chile to synthesize cases of water market development that could potentially contribute to overcoming the challenges encountered in the YRB. After analyzing these cases, recommendations are made for enhancing the YRB’s water market development from the perspectives of water rights systems, as well as the roles of the government and market, legal system, and third-party effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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10 pages, 916 KiB  
Review
How to Resolve Transboundary River Water Sharing Disputes
by Mohammad A. Hossen, Jeff Connor and Faisal Ahammed
Water 2023, 15(14), 2630; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15142630 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 6123
Abstract
There are more than 260 transboundary rivers in the world, which are sometimes the cause of conflict. Therefore, management of these rivers is important not only for the economy but also for harmony and peace. Various methods are followed to resolve water-sharing disputes. [...] Read more.
There are more than 260 transboundary rivers in the world, which are sometimes the cause of conflict. Therefore, management of these rivers is important not only for the economy but also for harmony and peace. Various methods are followed to resolve water-sharing disputes. A systematic review was carried out to determine how water disputes are resolved. It was found that cooperation, mediation, perfect river basin organisation, a proper monitoring system, information exchange, and benefit-sharing are the keys to success. On the other hand, non-cooperation, disregard of international water laws, water hegemony, imbalance of military power, and the absence of a proper institution, mediator, or benefit-sharing approach are the causes for failure of transboundary river management. This study also summarised the evaluation report of the river basin management and diagnosed whether the riparian countries are successful in conflict management, diagnosing 53% of the river basins as successful, 35% as unsuccessful, and 12% as neutral (neither successful nor unsuccessful). This result indicates that there is dissatisfaction with 35% transboundary rivers of the world. It was also revealed that the most frequently identified mode for resolving water conflict is benefit-sharing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Governance and Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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