Special Issue "Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance"

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 (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 7980

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Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Luis Garrote
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering: Hydraulics, Energy and Environment, Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Interests: hydrodynamic modeling; water resources; hydrology; vulnerability; climate change; quantitative assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water resource management includes consideration of all disciplines of hydrology and water sources. Water supplies are allocated and diverted to cover water needs of a range of agricultural, municipal, industrial, hydroelectrical, and ecological water uses. Most of the time, these water uses are very compatitive, as the available water resources are limited and it is not possible to cover the total water needs in a hydrological basin, requiring to set water use priorities in a way that serves societal and ecological needs. To manage the water resources and the waterworks constructed to make good use of water may, sometimes, lead to confrontational deliberations and negotiations. As a result, water resource management is one of the world’s greatest challenges due to competition for limited resources, regional disparities in water supply and affluence, mounting global water demand, aquifer depletion, and pollution- and climate-change-induced water stress. Proper policy and governance for integrated sustainable water resource management is essential in a basin and requires new fresh ideas, innovation, and international cooperation.

This Special Issue aims to include papers by invited reputable researchers and engineers to cover issues of water resource management, governance, and policy. These issues may include the following topics:

  • Integrated water resource management;
  • Management of water resource systems and water availability;
  • Monitoring and protection of water resources;
  • National and international water policy, institutional arrangements, and water law;
  • Water economics and commercialization of water;
  • Water conflict resolution, public participation, and decision making;
  • Water resource management, policy and governance in socially and environmentally sensitive areas and regions.

Prof. Dr. Athanasios Loukas
Prof. Dr. Luis Garrote
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 2200 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 resource management
  • governance
  • policy
  • water economics
  • conflict resolution
  • protection of water resources
  • social and environmental sustainability

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance
Water 2022, 14(14), 2191; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14142191 - 11 Jul 2022
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Water resource management aims to environmentally and economically satisfy the water demands of various water uses in a hydrological basin [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)

Research

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Article
Adaptation: A Vital Priority for Sustainable Water Resources Management
Water 2022, 14(4), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14040531 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 553
Abstract
Sustainability in terms of water management implies the study of all interrelated parameters (social, environmental, economic, engineering and political) in a comprehensive way. Although Greece is presented in the international rankings as a water-rich country, it has significant water problems due to its [...] Read more.
Sustainability in terms of water management implies the study of all interrelated parameters (social, environmental, economic, engineering and political) in a comprehensive way. Although Greece is presented in the international rankings as a water-rich country, it has significant water problems due to its high temporal and spatial distribution of water resources and its unsustainable management practices characterized by a fragmented and sector-oriented water management system. This problem has been significantly improved by the adoption of the EU WFD and the development of management plans at the river basin scale. Nevertheless, because of the climate change effects, there is still a long way to go, and radical changes are needed in order to reach sustainability. Adaptation is a vital response toward sustainability. The Mygdonia agricultural basin is a case study of a highly negative water balance system that highlights the shortcomings of both water management and adaptation in Greece. Analysis of the hydrology of the basin, as well as the climate projections until 2100, revealed the urgent need for concerted action. A set of different development adaptation strategies was applied and assessed concerning their effectiveness. According to the outputs of this research, integrated watershed management is a prerequisite for a successful adaptation policy. Radical reform is needed in the agricultural sector by decreasing the agricultural land and changing crops. Demand management is the solution rather than focusing on supply options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
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Article
Improving Transboundary Drought and Scarcity Management in the Iberian Peninsula through the Definition of Common Indicators: The Case of the Minho-Lima River Basin District
Water 2022, 14(3), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030425 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Drought is one of the most damaging natural hazards in the Iberian Peninsula, causing varied socioeconomic and environmental impacts. To prevent these impacts, there must be close cooperation between Portugal and Spain, as the two countries share five river basins. However, regarding drought [...] Read more.
Drought is one of the most damaging natural hazards in the Iberian Peninsula, causing varied socioeconomic and environmental impacts. To prevent these impacts, there must be close cooperation between Portugal and Spain, as the two countries share five river basins. However, regarding drought planning and management the two countries are clearly in different stages. Portugal approved a national drought plan in 2017, while Spain has already had drought plans in place for all River Basin Districts since 2007 and approved an updated version of these plans in 2018. The Spanish drought plans currently in place foresee two sets of indicators: prolonged drought and scarcity indicators. This paper presents the definition of similar indicators for the Portuguese part of the shared Minho and Lima river basins, according to European guidelines and in common with Spain, with the aim of developing a joint international drought management plan for these basins. For the period from October 1980 to September 2017, the comparison of the indicators obtained for the Portuguese parts of the basins with the corresponding Spanish ones shows a similarity in the occurrence of drought and scarcity in both parts of the basins, although with a higher prevalence of scarcity situations in the Lima Spanish part. This work was developed in close collaboration with the River Basin District competent authorities of both countries, aiming to be a prototype for the definition of new and comparable drought and operational scarcity indicators. Therefore, this work is a starting point for the creation of common tools for integrated drought management of transboundary basins in the IP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Changes in Mulberry-Dyke-Fish Ponds in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area over the Past 40 Years
Water 2021, 13(21), 2953; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13212953 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
Mulberry-dyke-fish pond ecosystems are a representative traditional eco-agriculture in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). Investigations about the changes in the systems and their relevant water environments under the background of rapid urbanization can provide valuable information to formulate sustainable protection and [...] Read more.
Mulberry-dyke-fish pond ecosystems are a representative traditional eco-agriculture in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). Investigations about the changes in the systems and their relevant water environments under the background of rapid urbanization can provide valuable information to formulate sustainable protection and development strategies. Using the Landsat images obtained after 1986, this study combined supervised classification and visual interpretation approaches, as well as water intensity index and synthesized index to identify the spatial patterns of changes in the ponds in the GBA over the past 40 years. The results indicated that during the period 1986–2013, the total surface area of the ponds in the GBA increased significantly and peaked in 2013 with a total increase of 84.63%; After that, the total surface area showed a downward trend with a total decrease of approximately 31.34%. The year of 2013 was identified as the milestone of the changes. The results proved that human activities have continuously influenced the spatial distribution and size of fish ponds in the past 40 years. The fish ponds had transformed from near-natural ponds with different sizes and a near-natural random distribution in the early stage into an artificial distribution and an artificial shape. Land use changes, industrial transfer, Government guidance and financial motives were the major drivers to the changes. If no effective measures are taken, this shrinking trend in the ponds will remain in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
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Article
Understanding the Complexity of Water Supply System Governance: A Proposal for a Methodological Framework
Water 2021, 13(20), 2870; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202870 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 902
Abstract
The question of how the complexity of water governance may be understood beyond a heuristic concept remains unanswered. In this paper, we propose a Water Governance Complexity Framework to address the complexity of water governance. Through a literature review, rapid surveys, and 79 [...] Read more.
The question of how the complexity of water governance may be understood beyond a heuristic concept remains unanswered. In this paper, we propose a Water Governance Complexity Framework to address the complexity of water governance. Through a literature review, rapid surveys, and 79 semi-structured interviews, we propose how this framework may be operationalized using different proxies and by applying it to the case of the water supply system for domestic use in Oaxaca, Mexico. In places such as the rural communities of Oaxaca, where the state plays a partially absent role in the water supply, we found legal pluralism and diverse formal and informal stakeholders in a multi-level structure. At the local level, four modes of governance were identified, resulting from seven institutional change trajectories. These trajectories result from linear (alignment) and non-linear (resistance and adaptation) interactions between local, state, and national institutions over different periods. We provide a pragmatic framework to understand complexity through the organization and historical configurations of water governance that may be applied globally, providing a necessary starting point and solid foundation for the creation of new water policies and law reforms or transitions to the polycentric governance model to ensure the human right to water and sanitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
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Article
Conflicts in Implementing Environmental Flows for Small-Scale Hydropower Projects and Their Potential Solutions—A Case from Fujian Province, China
Water 2021, 13(18), 2461; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182461 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Releasing environmental flows is a valuable strategy for mitigating negative impacts of small-scale hydropower projects on river and riparian ecosystems. However, maintaining environmental flows has faced considerable resistance from different stakeholders, and previous studies have failed to appropriately investigate solutions. Here, online questionnaires [...] Read more.
Releasing environmental flows is a valuable strategy for mitigating negative impacts of small-scale hydropower projects on river and riparian ecosystems. However, maintaining environmental flows has faced considerable resistance from different stakeholders, and previous studies have failed to appropriately investigate solutions. Here, online questionnaires and interviews were conducted among small-scale hydropower project owners, government administrators, and the public in Fujian Province, China. The results showed that the major hindrance to implementing environmental flows was the potential economic loss resulting from reductions in electricity production, stakeholders’ skepticism, technical difficulties, and a lack of the government supervision. Diversion-type projects pose the largest losses of electricity production after the release of environmental flows, and by adopting a 10% of mean annual flow as minimum target, most small-scale hydropower projects obtain low marginal profits without compensation. Here, we proposed an appropriate payment for ecosystem services by introducing an economic compensation program for different types of small-scale hydropower projects scaled by potential losses in electricity generation. Under such a scheme, economic losses from a reduction in electricity production are covered by the government, hydropower project owners, and electricity consumers. Our study offers recommendations for policymakers, officials, and researchers for conflict mitigation when implementing environmental flows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
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Article
The Role of Water Supply Development in the Earth System
Water 2020, 12(12), 3349; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123349 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 998
Abstract
The ANEMI model is an integrated assessment model of global change that emphasizes the role of water resources. Securing water resources for the future is a key issue of global change and ties into global systems of population growth, climate change carbon cycle, [...] Read more.
The ANEMI model is an integrated assessment model of global change that emphasizes the role of water resources. Securing water resources for the future is a key issue of global change and ties into global systems of population growth, climate change carbon cycle, hydrologic cycle, economy, energy production, land use and pollution generation. The focus of the presented work is on the development of global water supplies necessary to keep pace with a growing population and global economy. With the structure of the ANEMI model, a series of experiments are conducted in order to assess: (i) the current role of water supply in the global Earth system; (ii) the level of water stress that can be expected in the future; and (iii) what are the potential effects of water quality on global surface water supply and the distribution of water supply types. The results of model simulations show that surface water resources were sufficient to meet the water demand and water quality is not shown to be a significant factor for the development of surface water supplies. Due to globally aggregated scale, these impacts are averaged and likely understated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
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Article
Institutional Framework for Modeling Water Availability and Allocation
Water 2020, 12(10), 2767; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102767 - 04 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Effective water resources management requires assessments of water availability within a framework of complex institutions and infrastructure employed to manage extremely variable stream flow shared by numerous, often competing, water users and diverse types of use. The Water Rights Analysis Package (WRAP) modeling [...] Read more.
Effective water resources management requires assessments of water availability within a framework of complex institutions and infrastructure employed to manage extremely variable stream flow shared by numerous, often competing, water users and diverse types of use. The Water Rights Analysis Package (WRAP) modeling system is fundamental to water allocation and planning in the state of Texas in the United States. Integration of environmental flow standards into both the modeling system and comprehensive statewide water management is a high priority for continuing research and development. The public domain WRAP software and documentation are generalized for application any place in the world. Lessons learned in developing and implementing the modeling system in Texas are relevant worldwide. The modeling system combines: (1) detailed simulation of water right systems, interstate compacts, international treaties, federal/state/local agreements, and operations of storage and conveyance facilities, (2) simulation of river system hydrology, and (3) statistical frequency and reliability analyses. The continually evolving modeling system has been implemented in Texas by a water management community that includes the state legislature, planning and regulatory agencies, river authorities, water districts, cities, industries, engineering consulting firms, and university researchers. The shared modeling system contributes significantly to integration of water allocation, planning, system operations, and research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Water Resources Management, Policy and Governance)
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