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Principal provisions of IWRA for WWF 6

I. Rationale

Arising global water crisis, which characteristics and specialties were well described on the previous World Water Forf (WWF 3, WWF 4, WWF 5), get reflection in the messages of UN bodies and led to a special scope of documents provided by 64 Session of GAUN on December 2009.

The world is facing a growing water scarcity, water stress, water pollution, water disaster, not as a result of global warning that takes place, but mostly as a result of misgovernance and mismanagement.

Even without global warming, there are already serious problems of water resources worldwide. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly identified water shortage as a major underlying cause of the conflicts in a world today. The world's population of 6.6 billion is forecast to raise by 2.5 billion by 2050, with most of the growth in developing countries, many in the regions, where water is already scarce. The growth rate means demand for fresh water is increasing by 64 billion cubic meters a year where and how to get this water remains a very serious question that appears to have no answer?

Water: increasing a gap between the poor and the wealthy

Water now (and most likely in the future) is one of reasons of increasing a gap between the poor and the wealthy, prosperous and poor countries; and this fact was reflected in many UN documents [1]. This gap depends on two components: natural water availability and availability of economic resources that allow solving water problems.

Global prospects of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially in the field of eradicating poverty and equal access to safe water, can turn into castles in the air due to many negative trends in our imperfect world.

The world where monetary interests are above any other considerations pays no need to all other problems. During recent 25 years a gap between the poor and the riches has dramatically increased [2].

Conflicts over fresh water resources

Some researchers suppose that water can be an object, aim or weapon of conflicts right up to frontier incidents or military operations with destruction of water infrastructure. Sometimes water is also used as a means of certain compulsion or diktat. Other relations caused concerns transfer to water relations principles of fuel-oil ones and creation of their dependence that can result in an increase of competition and frictions, especially taking into consideration the forecast that by 2050, 2 billion people will suffer from water stresses (by 2080, their number will increase up to 3.2 billion).

Water and food security

Considerable failures in water supply of the agricultural sector complicate the situation related to food security and employment. UN Human Rights Council [3] stated in 2008 that "the global food crisis, particularly in developing countries was a result of 20 years of ignoring interests of agriculture in the world, including refusal from subsidy, reduction of attention to irrigation and care about rural population. The consequences are very clear quantity of hungry and poor people grew!!! Accepting of irrigation as if not prior but as remaining water user will aggravate this situation.

Enhancing water disparity between countries/regions

Countries (like separate regions or geographic zones) are quite different according to their available water resources, and this disparity can be therefore enhanced by climate changes; at the same time, the principles of redistributing water resources under the current conditions and for the nearest outlook are absent.

Lack of clear mechanism for ensuring water rights

The clear water rights for all kinds of water use were not formulated in most countries. At the best, they were declared but the mechanisms for realization of these rights were developed and put into practice only in the limited number of countries. Israel, The Netherlands, Canada, the USA, and France represent such advanced countries. In most developing countries, these mechanisms are absent, creating conditions for voluntarism, diktat, and profiteering that result in the instability of water supplies.

Enhancing of hydroegoism

Author [4] suggests the ideas of hydro-solidarity in order to oppose growing tendencies of hydro-egoism (again related to the monetary interests) that gives rise wish to use advantages of own geographic position for the economic diktat. Using transboundary waters only for the benefit of some economic sectors or communities is not a new world practice that becomes apparent in many aspects and is extremely dangerous because it can deprive people the opportunity to utilize this resource indispensable to life or to make its supply dependent on different factors and extremely indefinite.

2. Main obstacles to the access to water:

From Osaka to Mexico and to Istanbul, the strategic vision of the international water community on water resources management has evolved, but many basic issues remain unsolved and the challenges remain sizeable:

  • Weak political will: the benefits of water on health, the environment and the economy are insufficiently understood by political representatives who are therefore not mobilized on this theme, which brings about as a consequence a limited flow of funding for water. Politicians, especially in developing countries, are very reluctant to use pricing as a tool in managing water. Politicians are also lop-sided in favour of implementing large-scale projects (e.g. dams) in comparison to implementing non-structural measures.
  • Lack of financing transparency: particularly requires a significant mobilization of funding, both in terms of investments and operating costs. Local authorities, generally in charge of providing water supply services, do not always have the ability to get access to the technical and financial means. Often, water supply services are haphazardly privatised with little transparency and public involvement corruption is at the core of the governance crisis in the water sector - World Bank estimates 20-40% of water sector finances are being lost to dishonest and corrupt practices.
  • Absence of attention to ecological situation in waters led to Water Pollution. Conservative estimates hold that the lack of access to clean water causes the death of five million people worldwide every year. More than half of the world's major rivers are being seriously drying up and polluted, degrading and poisoning the surrounding ecosystems, thus threatening the health and livelihood of people who depend upon them for irrigation, drinking and industrial water.
  • High Rates of Non-Revenue Water (NRW): estimated by the World Bank gave the total cost of NRW to utilities worldwide at US$14 billion per year. Reducing by half the current levels of losses in developing countries, where relative losses are highest, could generate an estimated US$ 2.9 billion in cash and serve an additional 90 million people
  • Destruction of Groundwater Aquifers and Subsequent Ground Submergence is a serious problem due to over-pumping over the world. Bangkok, Mexico City and many cities in China suffer on this reason. According to media reports, more than 70 cities in China have land subsidence problems, representing a combined subsiding area of 640,000 square kilometers.
  • Technicality of the sector: the water sector is increasingly more technical and complex than when desalination and RO are concerned, thus making it more difficult to implement.
  • Poor perception of the benefits of water savings: In many developing countries, water is heavily subsidised by the government resulting in very low tariffs which do not encourage water savings.
  • Poor public participation of stakeholders: Everyone is a stakeholder in regard to water. Age-old top-down management approach is no longer acceptable or appropriate. Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach that draws on the principle of democratizing decision-making involving all stakeholders, including consumers, planners and policy makers at all levels. Real participation only takes place when stakeholders are part of the decision-making process concerning water supply, water management and water use choices.
  • Week attention to Human development generation that is going now to life will live in water scarcity, but nobody does prepare them.

3. Proposal of IWRA to WWC as a framework of future survival of the World before the face of the Global water crisis.

4 principal topics can create ability to combat the challenge of looming crisis.

Water Governance as scope of rules, regulations, provisions and strategy that forms the political, legal, institutional, financial and economic basis of the state and interstate system in combination with social relations and ethnic norms. From another side, Water Governance thru water strategy appointed priority of State, rayons, basin water development for overlapping all principal abstention basics of the state system, and social relations. In respect to water resources and IWRM, the role of governance can be defined as a framework of incentives and limitations, within which management is responsible for realization of the principles of sustainability, their detailed elaboration and application under planning, use and protection of water and related resources.

It is important to keep in mind that governance should be based on a certain idea in short and long terms. Achievement of equitable and sustainable water supply for all society, economy and ecosystems, as well as eradication of water inequality and shortage at the expense of using resources by all mankind can be considered as the acceptable idea. Water governance opposes hydroegoism by using a set of key approaches that include the following:

  • Presenting impartial and realistic information to all stakeholders and decision-makers;
  • Establishing the institutional framework for seeking solutions in the nature of a compromise;
  • Public participation as a socially necessary instrument and in supporting the moral principles of water use
  • Focusing on the social value of water resources;
  • Inadmissibility of the water use practice that could result in damage to anybody;
  • Recognition of national hydro-solidarity and establishing the effective body in the form of the National Water Council;
  • Establishing the fair legal system with a special emphasis on mechanisms of providing the rights for end users; and
  • Forecasting and developing the scenarios of the future as the vision of a common way.

Strengthening the system of water governance means elaborating integrated measures that encompass legal, institutional, financial, and social components with the purpose of co-ordination of all levels within the water management hierarchy. These measures should remove most weaknesses and vulnerability of the existing system of water governance, and also opportunities for ignoring the interests of other water users or creating the uncertainty in their water use regardless of a level of the water management hierarchy.

Such a set of measures we divided into the two parts: Strengthening water governance at the transboundary level (international watercourses) is especially important which covers the global, transboundary level and measures at the national and local level.

IWRM (Integrated Water Resource Management) as a combination of Water Supply Management and Water Demand Management needs to be base as support and maintain permanent Balance between them.

IWRM is seen permanently in the overcome of impact of consequences from destabilizing factors (see Fig. 1) such as climate change, demographic pressure, industrial growth and need in power production, growth of environmental understanding and demands. All those factors have influence on WSM and WDM, but system of planning, implementation and providing IWRM allowed to organize meeting of this risk occasions.

Such integration must cover all types of interrelated freshwater bodies, including both surface water and groundwater, and duly consider water quantity and quality aspects. The multisectoral nature of water resources development in the context of socio-economic development must be recognized, as well as the multi-interest utilization of water resources for water supply and sanitation, agriculture, industry, urban development, hydropower generation, inland fisheries, transportation, recreation, low and flat lands management and other activities. Rational water utilization schemes for the development of surface and underground water-supply sources and other potential sources have to be supported by concurrent water conservation and wastage minimization measures. Priority, however, must be accorded to flood prevention and control measures, as well as to sedimentation control, where required.

Public participation (PP) is very important aspect of Water Governance that should be strictly indicated in National Water Law, Transboundary agreements and all local requirements, all regulations and rules. PP creates first base of IWRM, and involvement of organizations of stakeholders in water supply management in form of Council of WMO, Council of irrigation system, and Water Users Association (WUA) in combination with hydrographic system of water supply management will be a guarantee against administrative and professional hydroegoizm, same as against corruption. Financial tools in form of prepared agreements and contractual obligations between WMOs and WUAs will promote effectiveness of WDM.

IWRM also focuses on Transboundary water resources and their use that are of great importance to riparian States. In this connection, cooperation among those States may be desirable in conformity with existing agreements and/or other relevant arrangements, taking into account the interests of all riparian States concerned and set of measures that will be prepared in Water Governance.

The following program areas for the freshwater sector can be proposed to the Council:

  1. Integrated water resources development and management implementation;
  2. Water resources assessment;
  3. Protection of water resources, water quality and aquatic ecosystems;
  4. Drinking-water supply and sanitation;
  5. Water and sustainable urban development;
  6. Water for sustainable food production and rural development;
  7. Impacts of climate change on water resources.

Such presentation of water demands for food, industry, water supply, nature will avoid fragmentation of water institutions and will join them in single approach of IWRM where the request in WDM of all these branches will be integrated by proper way, equitable evaluation and putted in scope of commonly assessed all type of waters (transboundary surface, ground and return; local; national and others).

Capacity building (CB) is very important subject that will assist to support stability of infrastructure on the base of created by WG an order of renovation, innovation, modernization and involvement of real players, who can implement advanced technology of water and irrigation works, dissemination of SCADA system, computerization, developing DSS and other subjects of advanced technology.

Creation of Information systems with a set of models and set of training will be an excellent input to CB in any region, were such need exists. These measures should be prepared for different levels of water hierarchy, but it should be done by such a way that tools for all levels of hierarchy will be connected by single methodology and merge and add interests of one another.

Human resource development most important part of future activity that should establish sustainable relation not only of specialists but of all human society to water and can form ability of globe to meet water crisis. This part of water platform divides into two principle parts HR of society and HR of professionals.

Development of HR of society needs to be addressed to all people, especially to young generation to whom we leave decision and adaptation to all water problems and from whom it requires to be in force to meet and combat this situation. It means that education should include from kinder garden through schools and other educational institutions understanding of water; approach to water as a holy subject, not as a commodity; knowledge by them of water scarcity, water extremes that expects them in the future and they need to be ready to overcome them. Three programs here "Water and common education", "World ready to water crisis" and "Each responsible for water water and ethic" should be very important for cleaning brains of world population and creation of adaptive capacity to this risk.

Development of HR of water sector should be addressed to water professionals in water managing governmental, nongovernmental organizations and water local public organizations such as Councils of Water, Water Users Associations and similar organizations of water and land stakeholders. The professional measures should include:

  • program of future water leaders;
  • system of permanent training of WMOs and stakeholders;
  • promotion of sustainable financial position of staff.





Interrelation of four principle platforms of water sector


1 Water in a changing world, UN World Water Development report 3, UN-Water, 2009

2 Report on the World Social Situation, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2005

3 Albert Sasson, Global food crisis, Morocco, 2009

4 Makin Falkenmark, 1998, Forward to the future conceptual framework of water dependence Volvo. Environmental Prize Lecture, Ambio 28.4; 360