Sustainable and Resilient Water Management in Regional, Vulnerable or Island Communities

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 (16 February 2021) | Viewed by 26269

Special Issue Editor

Cities Research Institute and School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4222, Australia
Interests: water resource management; environmental health; water; sanitation hygiene (WASH); indigenous communities; systems thinking; digital transformation; water sciences and policy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sourcing, treating, storing and delivering safely managed drinking water presents unique and site-specific challenges for remote, isolated and island communities. Looking through a wider lens beyond just managing water resources in an engineering context, this Special Issue seeks to further investigate the complex interactions between community, service provider, technology, culture, governance and environment in remote and isolated communities. We are particularly interested in research papers on the challenges associated with water supply insecurity and maintaining safe drinking water quality and community-based and systemic solutions to meeting those challenges. Moreover, as we seek to meet the SDG 6 goals for water, we can no longer rely on "business as usual" management approaches, and examples of a systems approach accounting for the inherent inter-dependencies in water resource management in small communities, including Indigenous communities, will be well-received. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches are welcome, as are short technical notes and review papers.

Dr. Cara Beal
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Community water management
  • Indigenous water management
  • Demand management
  • Resilient water supplies
  • Remote communities
  • Systems modelling
  • etc.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 2726 KiB  
Article
Conflict Resilience of Water and Energy Supply Infrastructure: Insights from Yemen
by Mohammad Al-Saidi, Emma Lauren Roach and Bilal Ahmed Hassen Al-Saeedi
Water 2020, 12(11), 3269; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113269 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 6845
Abstract
Political instability and conflicts are contemporary problems across the Middle East. They threaten not only basic security, but also infrastructure performance. Supply infrastructure, providing basic services such as water and electricity, has been subjected to damage, capacity deterioration, and the bankruptcy of public [...] Read more.
Political instability and conflicts are contemporary problems across the Middle East. They threaten not only basic security, but also infrastructure performance. Supply infrastructure, providing basic services such as water and electricity, has been subjected to damage, capacity deterioration, and the bankruptcy of public providers. Often, in conflict countries such as Yemen, the continuity of basic supply is only possible thanks to adaptation efforts on the community and household levels. This paper examines the conflict resilience of water and energy supply infrastructure in Yemen during the armed conflict 2015–today. It contributes to resilience studies by linking knowledge on state fragility and conflicts, humanitarian aid, and infrastructure resilience. The paper presents adaptation responses of communities and public entities in the water and energy sectors in Yemen and critically evaluates these responses from the perspective of conflict resilience of infrastructure. The gained insights reaffirm the notion about the remarkable adaptive capacities of communities during conflicts and the importance of incorporating community-level adaptation responses into larger efforts to enhance the conflict resilience of infrastructure systems. Full article
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20 pages, 8989 KiB  
Article
Analyzing the Dependence of Major Tanks in the Headwaters of the Aruvi Aru Catchment on Precipitation. Applying Drought Indices to Meteorological and Hydrological Data
by Robin Saase, Brigitta Schütt and Wiebke Bebermeier
Water 2020, 12(10), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102941 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3567
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the dependence of reservoirs (locally called tanks or wewas) in the headwaters of the Aruvi Aru catchment on precipitation and thus to evaluate their efficiency. The Aruvi Aru is located in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, and [...] Read more.
This study aims to analyze the dependence of reservoirs (locally called tanks or wewas) in the headwaters of the Aruvi Aru catchment on precipitation and thus to evaluate their efficiency. The Aruvi Aru is located in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, and numerous human made reservoirs characterize the study area. The methodology is based on the application and correlation of climatic and hydrological drought indices. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is applied to precipitation data at different time scales and the Standardized Water-Level Index (SWLI) is applied to water-level data of five major tanks in the catchment. The results show that near normal present-day average precipitation is appropriate to fill the investigated tanks. The precipitation of the previous 6–12 months has the highest impact on water-level changes. A moderate to strong positive correlation between SWLI and SPI point to other factors besides precipitation affecting the water level of the tanks. These are: (i) catchment size together with the buffering capacity of the upstream catchment and (ii) management practices. As the overall conclusion of our study shows, the tanks functioned efficiently within their system boundaries. Full article
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13 pages, 1729 KiB  
Article
Expert Knowledge and Perceptions about the Ecosystem Services and Natural Values of Hungarian Fishpond Systems
by Péter Palásti, Márton Kiss, Ágnes Gulyás and Éva Kerepeczki
Water 2020, 12(8), 2144; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082144 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3389
Abstract
In the past few decades, multiple theoretical studies have highlighted the diverse capabilities of freshwater fishpond systems in the provision of water-related ecosystem services (ESs). However, practical studies to confirm this statement are still lacking in the scientific literature compared to other ecosystems. [...] Read more.
In the past few decades, multiple theoretical studies have highlighted the diverse capabilities of freshwater fishpond systems in the provision of water-related ecosystem services (ESs). However, practical studies to confirm this statement are still lacking in the scientific literature compared to other ecosystems. In this paper, we reveal the ESs of three semi-intensively managed fishpond systems in Hungary and assess the knowledge and perceptions of local experts about them and their main interactions. Between 2017 and 2019, we performed participatory research on the fishpond systems of Biharugra, Akasztó, and Szeged, conducting a total of 22 structured interviews with experts from all related stakeholder groups. Based on the interviews, we identified 16 actively used ESs (4 provisioning, 7 regulating, and 5 cultural ESs) and also revealed 19 main forms of impacts (14 positive and 5 negative) related to them. Despite their different perceptions and demands associated with fish farms, almost every expert articulated the role of semi-intensive fish farming in the sustenance of water-related natural values and ecosystem services, endangered by the ongoing effects of global warming. Besides confirming the theoretical statements of previous studies, these findings could also provide information for subsequent land-use planning, with the aim of creating more sustainable, multifunctionally used fishpond systems. Full article
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13 pages, 1688 KiB  
Article
The Existence of Multiple Hydro-Mentalities and their Implications for Water Governance: A Case Study from Sri Lanka
by Kavindra Paranage and Nancy Yang
Water 2020, 12(7), 2043; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12072043 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2578
Abstract
Traditionally, the literature on water management has considered water from a techno-realist point of view by focusing on finding the most effective technical solutions to distribute the largest quantities of water among populations. This paper takes an alternative position by suggesting that particular [...] Read more.
Traditionally, the literature on water management has considered water from a techno-realist point of view by focusing on finding the most effective technical solutions to distribute the largest quantities of water among populations. This paper takes an alternative position by suggesting that particular “ways” of managing water are culturally embedded and that water management practices stem from an underlying hydro-mentality among water users and system designers. To this end, we explore two different water systems in Sri Lanka and argue that each system is underpinned by a particular hydro-mentality that influences the ways in which water is managed by downstream communities. Full article
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31 pages, 879 KiB  
Article
Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Collaborative Sustainable Water Governance in Remote Australian Indigenous Communities
by Melissa Jackson, Rodney A. Stewart and Cara D. Beal
Water 2019, 11(11), 2410; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112410 - 17 Nov 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 8960
Abstract
Collaboration between government agencies and communities for sustainable water governance in remote Indigenous communities is espoused as a means to contribute to more equitable, robust, and long-term decision-making and to ensure that water services contribute to broader considerations of physical, social, and economic [...] Read more.
Collaboration between government agencies and communities for sustainable water governance in remote Indigenous communities is espoused as a means to contribute to more equitable, robust, and long-term decision-making and to ensure that water services contribute to broader considerations of physical, social, and economic prosperity. In Australia, the uptake of collaborative water governance in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island contexts has been slow and few examples exist from which to inform policy and practice. This study identifies barriers to uptake of collaborative sustainable water governance, drawing from qualitative interviews with water practitioners working in remote Indigenous Australia and analysis of key project documentation. Thematic analysis revealed discrete barriers across five key categories: (1) governance arrangements, (2) economic and financial, (3) capacity and skills, (4) data and information, and (5) cultural values and norms, with many barriers identified, unique to the remote Indigenous Australian context. The paper provides insights into how to address these barriers strategically to create transformative and sustainable change for Indigenous communities. The results contribute to the greater body of knowledge on sustainable and collaborative water governance, and they are of relevance for broader water management, policy, and research. Full article
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