Term the global GDP is exposed to

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 three-quarter of the earth surface is covered with water. And 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. In among countries, having access to safe, clean, fresh drinking water is limited. Mankind exploits only about 0.08 percent of all world’s freshwater in ever increasing demand for sanitation, drinking, agriculture, leisure and manufactures.

Now a day, 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 a 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 (drought and flood), 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, and that may also pose acute problems in most parts of the world. 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 steadily increased by rising demand and the shortage of freshwater over the years. Statistics from the United Nations (UN) has indicated that about 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds 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 and the need for water conservation. 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 to increase 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. And the measures for capacity building for managers, with an integrated, predictive and hydrographic basin approach are the crucial thing to support in solving the problems. Education of all levels of the community and the preparation of managers with the approaches is another necessary development for water resources management.

3. Integrated Water Resource Management(IWRM)

3.1. Definition and history of IWRM

It has been defined by the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) 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.”

IWRM is a framework designed to improve the management of water resources based on four key principles adopted at the 1992 Dublin Conference on Water and the Rio de Janeiro Summit on Sustainable Development. These principles hold 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 has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good.

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 possible with available water resources and finances. The economic value is not only about price but also current and future social, and environmental costs and benefits should be taken account. Social equity means ensuring equal access for all water users to an adequate quantity and quality of water necessary to sustain human well-being. When making water allocation, the right of all users to the benefits gained from the use of water resource also needs to be taken account. The financial benefits come from the use of water for economic purposes and enjoyment of resources through recreational use may be included in benefits.  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. As IWRM is a comprehensive, participatory planning and implementation tool for managing and developing water resources in a way that balances social and economic need, and that ensures the protection of ecosystems for future generations. An IWRM approach is an open, flexible process, bringing together decision-makers across the various sectors that impact water resources, and bringing all stakeholders to the table to set policy and make a sound, balanced decisions in response to specific water challenges faced. 

3.2 Implementation of IWRM

IWRM aims to create sustainable water security within the present constraints and to improve the conditions 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. It can be divided into four ecological categories such as mountainous region, central dry zone, Ayeyarwaddy delta and coastal zone.

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. It is clear that the physical potential for further development of water resources in Myanmar is quite substantial.

On the other hand, Myanmar is occurring water-related issues such as floods and scarcity even though Myanmar has the rich water resource. There is a diversity of climatic conditions in Myanmar which present challenges for it. Rainfall is unevenly distributed over the country and over the seasons and over the country leading to flash floods, floods and also very important, to droughts and water shortages. Additionally, along with population increase and urbanization, the water demand in cities has increased. 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 it becoming pressure on it. That is why management and control of groundwater and surface water are important for the sustainable development of the country. It also needs to step up water conservation, such as rainwater harvesting strategic planning for water resource development and related infrastructure enhancement. Myanmar also needs special targeted capacity development for the local community to be able to meaningfully participate in water management decision-making process at all levels.

Therefore, National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) was established on 25 July 2013 for coordination and cooperation among water-related Ministries, Departments and Organizations, The intellectual and technical support has been provided by the Expert Group of the NWRC. The Netherlands government supported the IWRM Strategic Study in Myanmar. In Myanmar Integrated Water Resource Management, there have six key management issues. The following are the overview of 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 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 and are not installed at irrigation canals.

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). Urban floods occur after the heavy rains generally. 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 come 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 laws is under development.

3.3.6. Water Sanitation Management

Water Sanitation Management in Myanmar is the responsibility of the local authorities. Currently about 7% of the Yangon’s population and 5% of the Mandalay’s population are provided with modern sanitation facilities. JICA has helped to development Yangon Master Plan in which there are proposal to improve the sanitation system in Yangon. The public are educated on the 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 IWRM

Economic efficiency: By adopting the IWRM in Myanmar, water use efficiency has some improvements 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. In order for water security to be managed effectively, the use of economic and policy instruments have to be considered in integrated forms. Effective water security management, therefore, requires planners to take into account the ‘triple bottom line’ and evaluate policies in terms of their economic, environmental, and impacts. 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 studies show the facts that IWRM can lead to more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable solutions to complex water issues, however, it is important to note that this will not always be the case. IWRM based schemes cannot be a successful and critical evaluation of the successes and failures of such schemes is crucial to understanding how water management can be improved. We need to approach sustainable water management via the success of Integrated Water Management.


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.




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