Journal Articles

  1. Opportunities and barriers in scaling up of 24/7 urban water supply: the case of Karnataka, India

    Opportunities and barriers in scaling up of 24/7 urban water supply: the case of Karnataka, India
    Publisher:
    IWA Publishing
    Author/s:
    Joost Buurman, Deepak Santhanakrishnan
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water Policy
    Excerpt:

    Scaling up pilot projects providing continuous water supply to households in Indian cities has proved challenging. This study identifies opportunities and barriers to scaling up, in order to derive recommendations for bridging the gap between testing policy innovations and bringing projects to scale. We analyse pilot design, required resources, and drivers of stakeholders, institutions and the environment for a case study in Karnataka and find a wide range of factors that affect adoption of 24/7 water supply. Upscaling should be tailor-made for each area, which requires space, scope and capacity to be created for local involvement.

  2. Systematic Review of Water-Economy Modeling Applications

    Systematic Review of Water-Economy Modeling Applications
    Author/s:
    Maksud Bekchanov; Aditya Sood; Alisha Pinto; and Marc Jeuland
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management
    Excerpt:

    Increasing demand for water coupled with reduced water availability in many regions of the world is leading to growing water scarcity and calls for implementation of a range of technological, institutional, and economic solutions. Water-economy models (WEMs), which integrate the complex interrelationships between hydrologic and economic systems, are effective tools for analyzing these issues and for providing appropriate solutions across varied spatial and temporal scales. These models can be powerful tools for examining potential future changes in water resources systems, including the effects of climate change, socioeconomic changes, and infrastructural and policy responses to water resource management challenges. In this paper, the WEM models used to answer water economy questions are classified into two general categories on the basis of their structure: network-based (simulation or optimization) hydroeconomic models, and economywide (input-output or computable general equilibrium) models. This paper highlights the primary differences in the applications and interpretations obtained using these approaches, analyzes the distribution of questions that different WEMs have been used to answer, and discusses previous work and efforts to integrate across model types. Findings suggest that additional efforts are needed to more realistically account for the range and complexity of linking water systems and society, particularly regarding ecology and water quality, and the food and energy sectors. Additionally, the broader economic impacts of water-related processes, for example those related to interregional trade dynamics, the distribution of income, and migration, should be investigated further. In effect, because of the inherent complexity in the economic dynamics underlying many water systems, such tools can challenge intuition and provide critical insights that are relevant to more effective management of transboundary water resources and related sectors.

  3. Regulating Government-Owned Utilities

    Regulating Government-Owned Utilities
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    Olivia Jensen ; Wu Xun
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Utilities Policy
    Excerpt:

    While governments have long owned their water utilities in most of the world, intense discussion on how to regulate government-owned utilities (GOUs) has arisen only in the last two decades. In many countries, water services historically were delivered by government departments charged with acting in the public interest, making and implementing decisions
    on tariffs, services, and investments.

  4. Bringing people closer to water: integrating water management and urban infrastructure

    Bringing people closer to water: integrating water management and urban infrastructure
    Publisher:
    Taylor & Francis
    Author/s:
    Joost Buurman & Rita Padawangi
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Journal of Enviroment Planning & Management
    Excerpt:

    New stormwater management approaches that integrate water management with urban planning and design increasingly encompass social objectives. However, the principles and concepts upon which they are based do not provide sufficient guidance and analysis on how water is perceived as a sociological factor. The objective of the paper is to develop a Sociological Framework for evaluating and guiding the incorporation of sociological dimensions into water sensitive design programmes and projects, and demonstrate the applicability of the framework through the evaluation of the Bedok Reservoir project under Singapore's ABC Waters Programme. The framework covers the domains of awareness and behaviour, social cohesion, and interactions. The framework can assist researchers and policy-makers in better understanding and integrating sociological dimensions in water sensitive design.

  5. Comparing Contingent Valuation and Averting Expenditure Estimates of the Costs of Irregular Water Supply

    Comparing Contingent Valuation and Averting Expenditure Estimates of the Costs of Irregular Water Supply
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    Jennifer Orgill Meyer ;Marc Jeuland ; Jeff Albert ; NathanCutlerd
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Ecological Economics
    Excerpt:

    We compare two methods—contingent valuation and averting expenditures—to measure the demand for improved water reliability in urban Jordan. Traditionally, averting expenditures (a revealed preference measure) have been considered a lower bound for demand relative to contingent valuation (a stated preference measure) estimates. We develop a theoretical model to show that this relationship critically depends on household perceptions. In our setting, this insight is important, because households appear to have relatively low confidence in both the reliability and quality of existing water supplies, even though water quality tests suggest that utility water is safe to drink from a microbial perspective. Averting expenditures, which reach 4% of monthly expenditures on average, include substantial purchases of non-network water sourced from water shops or tankers, as well as costs in terms of water collection time, storage and in-home treatment. In contrast, the contingent valuation responses, while correlated with coping costs, reveal low willingness to pay for increases in water reliability from the utility network. We attribute this departure from the traditional relationship between averting expenditures and contingent valuation to the lack of household confidence in the quality of utility-provided water. Our study thus adds to previous evidence in the literature, which points to the importance of consumer perceptions in determining demand for environmental improvements.

  6. The California drought: Coping responses and resilience building

    The California drought: Coping responses and resilience building
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    Cecilia Tortajada ; Matthew J.Kastner ; Joost Buurman ; Asit K.Biswas
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Environmental Science & Policy
    Excerpt:

    Building resilience to extreme events is very complex. It involves consideration of climatic and non-climatic factors, human and natural environments and their dynamics, and governance systems that include groups with wide-ranging authorities, influence and interests. In this article, we analyse the effects of the latest multi-year drought (2011–2016) in agricultural production in California; impacts on food security; and coping responses of several actors. We found that despite the drought and water shortages, California continued to be the leading state for fruit and tree nuts and that it did not affect food security. We also found that these results were strongly influenced by the numerous policy, regulatory, institutional, and management decisions taken at the local, state and federal levels, as well as to availability of groundwater, the primary drought reserve. The California case can be considered an example for the rest of the country, and the world, that extreme events require extraordinary preparedness and response measures just to cope with them, not to mention adapting to them, and that building resilience is a long-term process.

  7. The blue and grey water footprint of construction materials: Steel, cement and glass

    The blue and grey water footprint of construction materials: Steel, cement and glass
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    P.W.Gerbens, Leenesa, A.Y.Hoekstrab, R.Bosmanb
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water Resources and Industry
    Excerpt:

    Numerous studies have been published on water footprints (WFs) of agricultural products, but much less on WFs of industrial products. The latter are often composed of various basic materials. Already the basic materials follow from a chain of processes, each with its specific water consumption (blue WF) and pollution (grey WF). We assess blue and grey WFs of five construction materials: chromium-nickel unalloyed steel, unalloyed steel, Portland cement (CEM I), Portland composite cement (CEM II/B) and soda-lime glass. Blue and grey WFs are added up along production chains, following life cycle inventory and WF accounting procedures. Steel, cement and glass have WFs dominated by grey WFs, that are 20–220 times larger than the blue WFs. For steel, critical pollutants are cadmium, copper and mercury; for cement, these are mercury or cadmium; for glass, suspended solids. Blue WFs of steel, cement and glass are mostly related to electricity use.

  8. The Paradox of Social Resilience: Explaining Delays in Water Infrastructure Provision in Kathmandu

    The Paradox of Social Resilience: Explaining Delays in Water  Infrastructure Provision in Kathmandu
    Author/s:
    Leong Ching
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water Alternatives
    Excerpt:

    One of the enduring puzzles within the management of water and other environmental resources is the sustained under-investment despite their critical importance. This paper brings together two emerging lines of research in answering this puzzle: first, that the blame-averse nature of governments leads them to avoid tackling issues which are perceived to have low payoff, and second, that the paradox of social resilience by which acts of coping with natural disasters and adverse events have led to a self-perception of resilience. While the motivations behind blame aversion are well researched, how the paradox of social resilience contributes to and interacts with such bureaucratic motivations remains little understood. Using a quantitative investigation of narratives of a more than 10-year delay to the Melamchi Water Supply Project in Kathmandu, Nepal, this paper reveals the dynamics of this interaction; it finds that a self-perception of resilience leads to narratives of low emotional intensity or 'valence', which in turn feed the perception of low payoffs for governments. This accentuates motivations of blame aversion, thus creating a vicious cycle of inaction. In Kathmandu, the self-perception of resilience is partly due to the coping mechanisms provided by a large, informal water-vending market. This paper suggests that one way of breaking the cycle is to increase the emotional intensity of the narratives by focusing on the true cost of coping with the delay in water supply. Our study further predicts that this vicious cycle is generally extant in policies with low negative valence – that is, in most environmental policies.

  9. Pu fallout across continental Australia: Implications on Pu use as a soil tracer

    Pu fallout across continental Australia: Implications on Pu use as a soil tracer
    Author/s:
    Dale Whittington
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
    Excerpt:

    At present there is a need for the development of new radioisotopes for soil erosion and sediment tracing especially as fallout 137Cs levels become depleted. Recent studies have shown that 239Pu can be a useful new soil erosion and sediment radioisotope tracer. 239Pu was released in the major atmospheric nuclear weapons tests of 1950's and 1960's. However 239Pu has a half-life of 24110 years and more than 99% of this isotope is still present in the environment today. In contrast 137Cs with a half-life of 30.07 year has decayed to <35% of initially deposited activities and this isotope will become increasingly difficult to measure in the coming decades especially in the southern hemisphere, which received only about a third of the total global fallout from the atmospheric tests (UNSCEAR, 2000).

    In this study an assessment of the 239Pu fallout in Australia was carried out from comparison of measured 239Pu inventories with expected 239Pu inventories from fallout models. 239Pu inventories were also compared with rainfall and measured 240Pu/239Pu ratios across Australia.

    239Pu fallout inventories ranged from 430 to 1461 μB/cm2. Central Australia, with fallout 107% in excess of expected values, seems to be strongly impacted by local fallout deposition. In comparison other sites typically show 5–40% variation between expected and measured fallout values.

    The fallout inventories were found to weakly correlate (using power functions, y = axb) with rainfall with r2 = 0.50 across the southern catchments (25–40°S latitude band). Across the northern catchments (10–25°S latitude band) fallout showed greater variability with rainfall with r2 = 0.24. Central Australia and Alice Springs which seem to be strongly impacted by local fallout are excluded from the rainfall correlation data (with these sites included r2 = 0.08 and r2 < 0.01 respectively).

    240Pu/239Pu atom ratios range from 0.045 to 0.197, with averages of 0.139(0.017), 0.111(0.052) and 0.160(0.027) in the 10–20°S, 20–30°S and 30–40°S latitude bands respectively. The 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios in Central Australia (0.069) likely represent fallout from the Australian tests which also have low 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios i.e., Maralinga (0.113) and Montebello (0.045). The average ratios in the 20–30°S and 30–40° bands are closer to the global average (0.139 and 0.177 respectively when not including the close-in fallout data from the nuclear test sites) if the Australian test sites and Central Australian sites are neglected as they clearly represent the effects of close in fallout.

  10. Advancing water footprint assessment research: Challenges in monitoring progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6

    Advancing water footprint assessment research: Challenges in monitoring progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6
    Publisher:
    MDPI
    Author/s:
    Arjen Y. Hoekstra, Ashok K. Chapagain and Pieter R. van Oel
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Water
    Excerpt:

    This special issue is a collection of recent papers in the field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA), an emerging area of research focused on the analysis of freshwater use, scarcity, and pollution in relation to consumption, production, and trade. As increasing freshwater scarcity forms a major risk to the global economy, sustainable management of water resources is a prerequisite to development. We introduce the papers in this special issue by relating them to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 of the United Nations, the goal on water. We will particularly articulate how each paper drives the understanding needed to achieve target 6.3 on water quality and pollution and target 6.4 on water-use efficiency and water scarcity. Regarding SDG 6, we conclude that it lacks any target on using green water more efficiently, and while addressing efficiency and sustainability of water use, it lacks a target on equitable sharing of water. The latter issue is receiving limited attention in research as well. By primarily focusing on water-use efficiency in farming and industries at the local level, to a lesser extent to using water sustainably at the level of total water systems (like drainage basins, aquifers), and largely ignoring issues around equitable water use, understanding of our water problems and proposed solutions will likely remain unbalanced.

  11. Quantifying water use in ruminant production

    Quantifying water use in ruminant production
    Publisher:
    Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies
    Author/s:
    G. Legesse, K. H. Ominski, K. A. Beauchemin, S. Pfister, M. Martel, E. J. McGeough, A. Y. Hoekstra, R. Kroebel, M. R. C. Cordeiro and T. A. McAllister
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Journal of Animal Science
    Excerpt:

    The depletion of water resources, in terms of both quantity and quality, has become a major concern both locally and globally. Ruminants, in particular, are under increased public scrutiny due to their relatively high water use per unit of meat or milk produced. Estimating the water footprint of livestock production is a relatively new field of research for which methods are still evolving. This review describes the approaches used to quantify water use in ruminant production systems as well as the methodological and conceptual issues associated with each approach. Water use estimates for the main products from ruminant production systems are also presented, along with possible management strategies to reduce water use. In the past, quantifying water withdrawal in ruminant production focused on the water demand for drinking or operational purposes. Recently, the recognition of water as a scarce resource has led to the development of several methodologies including water footprint assessment, life cycle assessment, and livestock water productivity to assess water use and its environmental impacts. These methods differ with respect to their target outcome (efficiency or environmental impacts), geographic focus (local or global), description of water sources (green, blue, and gray), handling of water quality concerns, the interpretation of environmental impacts, and the metric by which results are communicated (volumetric units or impact equivalents). Ruminant production is a complex activity where animals are often reared at different sites using a range of resources over their lifetime. Additional water use occurs during slaughter, product processing, and packaging. Estimating water use at the various stages of meat and milk production and communicating those estimates will help producers and other stakeholders identify hotspots and implement strategies to improve water use efficiency. Improvements in ruminant productivity (i.e., BW and milk production) and reproductive efficiency can also reduce the water footprint per unit product. However, given that feed production makes up the majority of water use by ruminants, research and development efforts should focus on this area. More research and clarity are needed to examine the validity of assumptions and possible trade-offs between ruminants' water use and other sustainability indicators.

  12. Application and recalibration of soil water retention pedotransfer functions in a tropical upstream catchment: case study in Bengawan Solo, Indonesia

    Application and recalibration of soil water retention pedotransfer functions in a tropical upstream catchment: case study in Bengawan Solo, Indonesia
    Publisher:
    De Gruyter Open
    Author/s:
    Andry Rustanto , Martijn J. Booij, Henk Wösten , Arjen Y. Hoekstra
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics
    Excerpt:

    Hydrological models often require input data on soil-water retention (SWR), but obtaining such data is laborious and costly so that SWR in many places remains unknown. To fill the gap, a prediction of SWR using a pedotransfer function (PTF) is one of the alternatives. This study aims to select the most suitable existing PTFs in order to predict
    SWR for the case of the upper Bengawan Solo (UBS) catchment on Java, Indonesia.

    Ten point PTFs and two continuous PTFs, which were developed from tropical soils elsewhere, have been applied directly and recalibrated based on a small soil sample set in UBS. Scatter plots and statistical indices of mean error (ME), root mean square error (RMSE), model efficiency (EF) and Pearson’s correlation (r) showed that recalibration using the Shuffled Complex Evolution-University of Arizona (SCE-UA) algorithm can help to improve the prediction of PTFs significantly compared to direct application
    of PTFs. This study is the first showing that improving SWR-PTFs by recalibration for a new catchment based on around 50 soil samples provides an effective parsimonious alternative to developing a SWR-PTF from specifically collected soil datasets, which typically needs around 100 soil samples or more.
    .

  13. The water footprint for lumber, pulp, paper, fuel and firewood

    The water footprint for lumber, pulp, paper, fuel and firewood
    Publisher:
    Elsevier
    Author/s:
    Joep F.Schynsa, Martijn J.Booija, Arjen Y.Hoekstraa
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Advances in Water Resources
    Excerpt:

    This paper presents the first estimate of global water use in the forestry sector related to roundwood production for lumber, pulp, paper, fuel and firewood. For the period 1961–2010, we estimate forest evaporation at a high spatial resolution level and attribute total water consumption to various forest products, including ecosystem services. Global water consumption for roundwood production increased by 25% over 50 years to 961 × 109 m3/y (96% green; 4% blue) in 2001–2010. The water footprint per m3 of wood is significantly smaller in (sub)tropical forests compared to temperate/boreal forests, because (sub)tropical forests host relatively more value next to wood production in the form of other ecosystem services. In terms of economic water productivity and energy yield from bio-ethanol per unit of water, roundwood is rather comparable with major food, feed and energy crops. Recycling of wood products could effectively reduce the water footprint of the forestry sector, thereby leaving more water available for the generation of other ecosystem services. Intensification of wood production can only reduce the water footprint per unit of wood if the additional wood value per ha outweighs the loss of value of other ecosystem services, which is often not the case in (sub)tropical forests. The results of this study contribute to a more complete picture of the human appropriation of water, thus feeding the debate on water for food or feed versus energy and wood.

  14. Hydrological connectivity and Burkholderia pseudomallei prevalence in wetland environments: investigating rice-farming community's risk of exposure to melioidosis in North-East Thailand

    Hydrological connectivity and Burkholderia pseudomallei prevalence in wetland environments: investigating rice-farming community's risk of exposure to melioidosis in North-East Thailand
    Publisher:
    Springer
    Author/s:
    Chuah CJ, Tan EKH, Sermswan RW, Ziegler AD
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
    Excerpt:

    In our analysis of 136 water samples from wetland environments (rice paddies, natural wetland sites, man-made water bodies) in rural areas of North-East Thailand, Burkholderia pseudomallei was most prevalent in rice paddies (15 of the 30 positive sites). The high prevalence in the water of rice fields is indicative of the inherent vulnerability of farmers in rural agricultural areas in this area of Thailand and likely other locations in the tropics. Nearly all B. pseudomallei-positive sites were found within the vicinity of a large wetland associated with the Chi River, in the month of July 2014. Positive samples were found in water ranging in pH from 5.9 to 8.7, salinity ranging from 0.04 to 1.58 ppt, nitrate ranging from 0 to 10.8 ppm, and iron ranging from 0.003 to 1.519 ppm. Of these variables, only iron content was statistically higher in B. pseudomallei-positive versus B. pseudomallei-negative sites, suggesting that increasing concentrations of iron may encourage the growth of this bacterium, which is responsible for melioidosis. Our results, when combined with data from other published studies, support the notion that B. pseudomallei can exist in a wide range of environmental conditions. Thus, we argue that health safety education is a more appropriate means of addressing farmer vulnerability than chemical or physical alterations to fields at large scales. Further, it may be important to investigate melioidosis through transdisciplinary approaches that consider the complex social and ecological contexts in which the disease occurs.

  15. Accuracy of rainfall estimates at high altitude in the Garhwal Himalaya (India): A comparison of secondary precipitation products and station rainfall measurements

    Accuracy of rainfall estimates at high altitude in the Garhwal Himalaya (India): A comparison of secondary precipitation products and station rainfall measurements
    Publisher:
    ScienceDirect
    Author/s:
    Alok Bhardwaja; Alan D.Zieglera; Robert J.Wasson; Winston TL Chow
    Year:
    2017
    Publication:
    Atmospheric Research
    Excerpt:

    Accurate estimation of the magnitude and spatio-temporal variability of rainfall in the Indian Himalaya is difficult because of the sparse and limited network of ground stations located within complex terrain, as well as the difficulty of maintaining the stations over time. Thus, secondary rainfall sources are important to hydrological and hazard studies, if they reproduce the dynamics of rainfall satisfactorily. In this work, we evaluate four secondary products in the Garhwal Himalaya in India, with a focus on their application within the Mandakini River Catchment, the site of a devastating flood and multiple large landslides in 2013. The analysis included two satellite products: from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and the Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks (PERSIANN) program, as well as two gridded products: the Asian Precipitation Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE) product and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) product. In comparing the four products against data collected at four ground stations (Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Purola, and Mukhim) using a variety of statistical indices, we determined that the IMD and TRMM products were superior to the others. In particular, the IMD product ranked the best for most indices including probability of detection (POD), false alarm ratio (FAR), receiver operating curve (ROC), and root mean squared error (RMSE). The TRMM product performed satisfactorily in terms of bias and detecting daily maximum monsoon rainfall at three of the four stations. The APHRODITE product had POD, FAR and ROC values that were among the best at higher rainfall depths at the Mukhim station. The PERSIANN product generally did not perform well based on these indices, consistently underestimating station rainfall depths. Finally, the IMD product could document the daily rainfall distribution during the June 2013 flood in the Mandakini Catchment and adjoining places.