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Term paper for 2023603 Sustainable Resource Management

 

Water Resource Management

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1.    Introduction

            Water is a vital resource for all living
things on the planet. About 75 percent of the earth surface is covered with
water. But then, only round about three percent of total water volumes is the freshwater
resource. Two-third of the freshwater resource are padlocked in glaciers and
ice caps. Therefore, the accessible freshwater resource is few percent of the total
freshwater resource.  Water resource is
becoming scared gradually nowadays. In amid countries, having access to safe,
clean, fresh drinking water is limited. Freshwater demand is increasing in ever
for agriculture, drinking, sanitation, leisure and manufactures.

            Presently, most countries in many
parts of the world are confronting the pressures on water resources. World population
is increasing agilely and it is estimated that the population may reach to nine
billion by 2050. This population will need about 60 percent increasing agricultural
production. Such kinds of increasing demand on water resource make a scarcity
in many parts of the world. It is estimated that 40 percent of the global
population lives in water scare area approximately 25 percent of the global GDP
is exposed to this kind of challenges. By 2025, twenty-three percent of the
global population will be living in the place where absolute water scarcity occurred.
Additionally, as some of the biggest threats to global prosperity and the
stability, extreme weather events, hydrological uncertainty and chronic water
scarcity were perceived. Many countries occur water security and challenges
that are concerned in water resources.

            Freshwater is the crucial resource
not only for human welfare but also for economic activities. Inefficient access
to advanced water supply may result in the human health and hazards and loss of
time in production processes. Accordingly, the freshwater resource for both
agricultural production and domestic use play in the crucial role to be
conserved in integrated ways.

The remaining
parts of this paper are divided into four main sections.  The section (2) discusses on water resource,
its crisis and problems, the section (3) considers the Integrated Water Resource
Management and case study in Myanmar’s  IWRM,  the
section (4)  makes a discussion on water
resource management and the section (5) concludes the paper.

 

2.   
Water Resource, its crisis and
Problems

Water resource
is the most important one to the human being for ages. Demand for the freshwater
resource has increased sharply with steady growth in world population, bringing
about rising consumption, rapid development, climate change and widespread
water pollutions from domestic, industrial and agricultural sectors. The price
of fresh water is also steadily increased by rising demand and the shortage of
freshwater over the years. It has been indicated by statistics
from the United Nations (UN) that
about two billion people will be living in
regions with absolute water scarcity, and round about 70 percent of the world’s
population could be living under water-stress conditions by the year 2025. Hence, it is becoming more crucial than ever that the
efficient water management with good practices. The overuse of water, water
mismanagement, changes in availability and pollution are the factors of the present
water crisis.

2.1. The main causes of the
water crisis

According to Tundist et al. (2008), rapid urbanization in many parts of
the world, increasing water usage and widespread of wastewater discharged, causes
water crisis. Alteration in the availability of water also makes water scarcity
and water stress. Further, unsuitable infrastructures in water networks in many
urban areas also cause the water sanitation problems. Global changes in extreme
hydrological events, increasing human populations are the problems of the stress
and scarcity of water resources. Additionally, lack of consistent actions of
water resources and lack of articulation is also the factors of the water
crisis.

This set of
problems has continental, regional, local and planetary dimensions. These
problems contribute to an exacerbation and increase of sources of contamination
and to be decreased availability. Further, the problems contribute alteration
of the water resources with scarcity. These also contribute the increasing the
vulnerability of people population because of the difficulty of access to good
quality water. Besides, these problems also afford to water contamination, and the
quality and quantity of water, and to respond to these causes public health and
interfere in human, with a deterioration of economic and social development and
of quality of life.

2.2 Measures to solve the problems

To solve these
problems and to make enhance strategies for long-term management, the watershed
survey, integrating research, management and monitoring should be approached. An
improved water governance system based on the participation of changes
stakeholders and the public and private sector should also be considered and
implemented. Strategic studies on water and energy, water and metropolitan area
and water and economy have to be enhanced. A framework for international cooperation
hared watersheds is the crucial approach to solve the water crisis and
problems. Furthermore, an economic evaluation of water resources services must
be taken account to make backing in solving water-related problems. Education
of all levels of the community is another necessary development for water
resources management.

 

3. Integrated
Water Resource Management (IWRM)

3.1. Definition and history of IWRM

The
Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) has defined the IWRM as “a
process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water,
land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and
social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising
the sustainability of vital ecosystems.”

The IWRM
framework designed base on four keys principles of Dublin Conference on Water
which was held in 1992 and Rio de Janeiro Summit on Sustainable Development.
This framework aimed to improve the water resources management. The four keys principle of Dublin Conference
on Water are that (1)
fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource essential to sustain life, development,
and the environment,
(2)
water development and management should be based on a participatory approach,
involving users, planners, and policymakers at all levels, (3) women play a central part in
the provision, management, and safeguarding of water, and (4) water should be recognized as an economic
good because it has
so many economic values.

IWRM come out of
three principles that are economic efficiency, social equity, and
environmental sustainability.
Economic efficiency means bringing the enormous benefit
to the greatest number of users probable with available water resources. The
economic value should be taken account for not only about price but also for
current and future social, and environmental costs and benefits. Social equity means
assurance
equal access for all water
users
to an adequate quantity and quality of water necessary to sustain human well-being. Ecological sustainability
requires that aquatic ecosystems are acknowledged
as users and that adequate allocation is made to sustain their natural
functioning. Limiting
or avoiding land uses and developments that negatively impact aquatic ecosystem
need to be achieved this creation.

IWRM
approaches involve
applying knowledge from various disciplines as well as the insights from
diverse stakeholders to devise and implement efficient, equitable and
sustainable solutions to water and development problems. The approach is an accessible, adjustable process, taking together decision-makers cross-wise
the different
sectors that affect water
resources and bringing all stakeholders to the table to firm policy up in response to specific water
challenges faced. 

3.2 Implementation of IWRM

IWRM
desires
to shape
sustainable water security within the present restraint and to improve the situations in
the catchment basin. Some
important conditions for implementing IWRM are political will and commitment that will support and
ease public pressure for IWRM implementation. A clear vision for river basin management
and participation and coordination mechanism are also the important conditions
for implementing. Moreover, well-defined flexible and enforcement legal frameworks
and regulations, water allocation plan, adequate investment, financial
stability and sustainable cost recovery, good knowledge of natural resources
present in the basin, and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation are also
important conditions for implementation of IWRM.

 3.3. Case
study: Integrated Water Resources Management in Myanmar

In Myanmar, the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
is being implemented by the National Water Resource Committee (NWRC) which is
an apex body of the transforms. Myanmar, one of the ASEAN member countries, is a
forest-clad mountainous country, with plains, valleys and plateaus. Myanmar has
1082
km³ of potential
water volume for surface water and 495 km³ for groundwater as well constitute national water
resources annually. The
total
storage capacity of dams
is
21283 million cubic meter. Water utilization for agricultural
sector stands for 89
percent and the highest proportion of water usage because
Myanmar is an agro-based country and its domestic use is about 10 percent and industry use is only
1 percent of
the total water use. The
total utilization of the nation’s water resources is only about 5 percent of the
potential. The results
show that Myanmar water resource is substantial for current use in all sectors.

On the other hand, Myanmar is occurring water-related issues such as floods and water scarcity in the central dry zones even though Myanmar has the
rich water resource. There have various climatic conditions in
Myanmar and rainfall is
unevenly distributed over the seasons and over the country. Additionally, along
with population increase and urbanization, the water demand in cities has
increased. Fresh water demand in rural areas has also increased due to the
development of irrigated agriculture and other rural-based economic activities.
Extraction of groundwater and use of surface water is becoming pressure on
water resources. That is why management and control of groundwater and surface
water are important for the sustainable development of the country. Rainwater
harvesting strategic planning for water resource development and related
infrastructure enhancement are also need to be considered.

Therefore, National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) was established on 25 July 2013 for
the
intellectual and technical support in IWRM implementation process. The Netherlands government supported the IWRM Strategic Study
in Myanmar. In Myanmar Integrated Water Resource Management,
there have six key management issues and the followings are these six key Management issues.

3.3.1. Water Supply Management

Water supply
Management in Myanmar is the responsibility of respective local governments.
Therefore, one of the activities of City Development Committee (Naypyidaw,
Yangon, Mandalay) and Department of Rural development is to support the
adequate water supply to their respective area. Most cities and towns in
Myanmar can provide the water supply for domestic use but water quality is not
up to drinking water quality standard. The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC)
 has collaborated with Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the development of Yangon downtown
master plan 2040.

3.3.2. Irrigations Management

Irrigation
development in Myanmar is the responsibilities of Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
(MOAI). The irrigation water management activities include the constructions of
the irrigation dams and the allocations of water for agriculture. The water is
distributed from the dams via gravity and through pumping stations. Seasonal
water quality tests are carried out at the dams.

3.3.3. Stormwater Management

Stormwater
management is the responsibility of the City Development Committees (Yangon, Naypyidaw
and Mandalay) and the Department of Rural Development (DRD). JICA has assisted
in the implementation of urban planning projects for Mandalay and Yangon cities.

3.3.4. Floods Management

Floods
management in Myanmar is the responsibilities of Irrigation Department (ID) that
is under MOAI, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), Directorate of
Water Resources and Improvement of River systems (DWIR), General Administration
Department (GAD) and  Relief and Resettlement
Department (RRD) that is under Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
(MoSWRR). Non-structural flood management measures are implemented by DMH and
structural measures by the DWIR and ID. The DMH collects the meteorological and
hydrological data, and forecast the flood model. The construction of reservoirs,
levees, and dredging of the creeks by the ID and the early step warning system
are available at the DMH. The RRD is responsible for the flood relief and resettlement
matters.

3.3.5. Water Pollution Management

Water pollution
management in Myanmar is the responsibilities of the Environmental Conservation
Development (ECD) that is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environmental Conservation (MONREC), DWIR, Department of Mining (DOM), YCDC, Department
of Health (MOH). Most of the water pollution comes from improper mining, drainage
from industries, and poor drainage systems in the cities. Water conservation
regulations and Environmental Conservation Law are the tools to controlled water
polluting activities. The National Water Policy has been established by the
NWRC and National water law is under development.

3.3.6. Water Sanitation Management

Water Sanitation
Management in Myanmar is the responsibility of the local authorities. Currently,
about 9% of the Yangon’s population and 9% of the Mandalay’s population are
provided with modern sanitation facilities. JICA has helped to development
Yangon Master Plan in which there are the proposal to improve the sanitation system
in Yangon. The public is educated on the need to practice good water sanitation
via broadcasting news in MRTV, MWD, MRTV- 4, etc.

3.3.7. Economic
efficiency, Equity and Environmental sustainability of Myanmar’s IWRM

Economic efficiency: By adopting the IWRM in Myanmar, water use efficiency has been improved
in many cities. It is lead-in the economic efficiency for all nationalisms and
it could reduce the increasing scarcity of water, and water shortage in the country.

Equity:  Likewise the global people who have the right
to access the adequate water supply, all Myanmar people have also the right to
access the adequate water supply and good sanitation. Myanmar IWRM has
implemented to cater for that.

Environmental sustainability:
To get the environmental and
ecological sustainability, Integrated Water Resource Management leading to
conserve water resources by adopting the efficient ways in using water
resources for all purposes
thereby compromising use by future generations of the same resource.

Each management sector has
begun to enhance the implementations in IWRM. Due to a move towards IWRM and
its subsequent improvements,  irrigation
efficiency has risen gradually in many parts of Myanmar. Stormwater management,
especially in Yangon, Naypyidaw, Mandalay and Taunggyi cities, become better
conditions than before IWRM. Water pollution management and sanitation
processes have also been improved by implementing the  Environmental Conservation Law and the
Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures. On the other hand, there have some
challenges in most of the management sectors. More research is still needed to
solve the problems in each sector. In Myanmar’s IWRM, there also have some
barriers such as lack of traditions for inter-minister cooperation, budget
limitation, limited capacity and technology. After making the completion to
this challenges, we hope that the Myanmar’ IWRM will get success in the conservation
of water resources in sustainable ways.

4.Discussion

World population
growth makes more water demand and it also makes more water pollutions. Freshwater
scarcity problem is caused in part by the increasing demands
of growing human population
rapidly, by the uneven spatial distribution
of rainfall which
is being exacerbated by climate change and by a long history of poor
management practices. We
cannot solve easily some problems which caused by climatic conditions and by
natural events. But, we can make change the management practices to get
sustainable water management. The use of economic and policy
instruments have to
be considered in integrated
forms so that water security to be managed effectively. In the agriculture sector which is the most water
demand sector, there is need to improve water use efficiency for sustainable
agriculture. By adopting the proper irrigation management and good governance
practices, water use efficiency in agriculture can be improved and it may
support for sustainable agriculture.

To solve and
reduce the problems that relate to water resources, Integrated Water Resource
Management is the best approach. Some case study of  IWRM in the world adduces that the approach of
IWRM can be successful in a sustainable way while some fail in implementing
because of some complexities of the framework. We need to approach sustainable
water management via the success of Integrated Water Management although there
may have some barriers to implementation IWRM.

 

5. Conclusion

Water is the
fundamental requirement for all living things including human life and
well-being. Now a day,  people in many
parts of the world are confronting the scarcity and shortage of water because
of population growth and water pollution events. Accordingly, water resource
management is really needed for sustainable and adequate water supply for all.
Most countries are adopting the IWRM to conserve water resource in a sustainable
way. To improve the implementation of the IWRM, decisionmakers need to learn the
successful practices from other countries. And the governors need to support
the research institutes to be able to conduct more research in all sectors for
water resource management.

Water is the common
denominator of energy, food, peace and security, poverty eradication.
Therefore, it is at the foundation of sustainable development.
Now a day the implementation of sustainable development goals is the priority
duty for all nations in the world. Without sustainable water resource
management, sustainable development cannot be gained. That is why we need to
collaborate each other to get the success of Integrated Water Resource Management
and Sustainable Water Management in order to implement the Sustainable Development
Goals.

 

References

Un.org. (2017). November 9, 2017. retrieved from http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/waterandsustainabledevelopment2015/pdf/Htun_Lwin_oo_MyanmarGDG.pdf

Pacificwater.org. (2017). November 9, 2017. retrieved from

http://www.pacificwater.org/userfiles/file/IWRM/Toolboxes/introduction%20to%20iwrm/Part1_en.pdf

November 9, 2017. retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259469739_Sustainable_Water_Resources_Management_of_Myanmar_Role_of_Agriculture_and_Hydropower

Unesdoc.unesco.org. (2017). November 9, 2017. retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001818/181891E.pdf

 

 

 

 

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