Daily Archives: 2015-11-14

National development planning and implications of defined priority water uses

  1. National development planning and implications of defined priority water uses and Institutional reforms needed for a water secure future
    1. Alignment between different sectors and different levels
    2. Defining development imperatives in water decisions
    3. Stakeholders engagements in water plans
    4. Planning and climate change
    5. Prioritizing water allocations


Water is part of broader social, political and economic developments and is thus also affected by decisions outside of the water sector. However the importance of national plans is to ensure that water as a catalyst for development and for addressing equity and increasing access to water.

Many countries are grappling with the challenges of low economic growth, high levels of unemployment, service delivery challenge. It is indeed believed that water can act as the catalyst for supporting the achievement of countrys’ socio economic objectives. However, institutions responsible for managing water resources should ensure that their operations and development align with the country’s macro-development strategies and sectoral priorities and it is therefore important to take stock of the water sector to determine how well aligned the water sector is to broader strategic agenda for the country in terms of expanding, improving and  maintaining infrastructure such as houses, roads, rail networks, health facilities, etc. Such national priorities must be planned and achieved without forfeiting environmental sustainability. In order for organisations or for sectors to function effectively, it is critical that all stakeholders are working towards the same goal and are generally pulling in the same direction.


In addition, the effective planning of the components, through effective management of these components, reduces the possibility of developing a silo mentality when planning. The provision of tools at both a district and municipal level would provide an opportunity for redressing a past and very dysfunctional and inequitable space economy. It would also offer a guide for investment decisions to achieve more sustainable human settlements.


Water resources can only sustainably cater for all the water uses if effective planning takes place; In this regard, it will be important in this session to;

  • Debate how the allocation of water can be optimised to meet the socio-economic needs of the country.
  • some hard choices and considerations for reallocating water to those sectors that yield the greatest benefit to the country.
  • It is acknowledged that these decisions should ideally be made by water users at basin scale but given the relative capacity of water users, it is unlikely that significant allocation reform can be driven at that level. Hence it is pertinent to look at the ideal scale for such macro-plans and for national priorities to be identified.
  • countries cannot continue to augment water resources perpetually and despite the recent focus on demand side management; there is still a very strong supply side mentality that permeates through.

The focus of the session will be on areas where there is scarcity ie; there is not enough water to satisfy all the demands; closed basins for any further allocations. The session will be made of country case studies of good practice to be followed by a panel discussion around any of the issues stated above.

National development planning and implications of defined priority water uses and Institutional reforms needed for a water secure future

Dialogue on Water Governance (DWG)  (90 minutes)

Chair: Stanley Liphadzi (WRC)
Time Topic Speaker
  Welcome and introductions Chair
15 min mis…Alignment in national water and development plans Eiman Karar WRC South Africa
15 min National Planning in LAC Axel Dourojeanni, water manager; LAC region
15 min National Planning in Brazil (tbc) Paulo Afonso Romano Director at Forum of the Future, Brazil
15 min National Planning in Mexico (tbc) Ricardo Sandoval Minero – Centro del Agua, Director of Center for Water Management Decision Making, Monterrey, Mexico
30 min Panel Discussion;

presenters and

Alberto Palombo; Secretary,  Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN)

Jennifer McKay; University of South Australia; Australia

José Roberto Lima – Center for Management and Strategic Studies – CGEE – Brasilia, Brasil (tbc)

Yali Woyessa; Head: Department of Civil Engineering; Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologywatch full Alien: Covenant movie

Central University of Technology, Free State; South Africa


  Summary and concluding remarks Chair


Equity, water and secure tenure in water allocations

This workshop will reflect on the role of tenure in water governance and security. It will build on the work undertaken in a proof of concept study for FAO (2014) where the concept was tested in three countries that have semi-arid conditions: Spain, South Africa and India. In Fortaleza with a special emphasis will be given to establish a dialogue with the experience in the Latin American region.


Tenure arrangements determine how people, communities and organizations gain access to the use of natural resources (Hogson, 2015). In particular water tenure is defined as ‘the relationship, whether legally or customarily defined people, as individuals or groups, with respect to water resources’. The main focus in this workshop is to see how tenure (both land and water) can provide a useful platform for addressing the main world’s water resources challenges. In particular the issue of water and equity of water to ensure a secure future in scarcity conditions and increased competition on the resource.The Discovery film


Under increased conditions of water scarcity triggered on the one hand by increased competition for water resources and on the other, uncertainty due to increased hydrological variability and extreme events due to effects of climate change much more pressure will be put on the security of tenure, as well as current and future winners and losers. Thus equity and tenure become central to the discussion.


The added value -as seen from the preliminary results from the analysis of tenure – is that it offers a new platform for discussion. It focuses on the evolving relationship of people with water, which brings onto the table all uses, including some normally excluded like informal use or the issue of environmental flows. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the current allocation system while considering future trends like population growth, the need for human development, the uncertainty of climate change changing the resource base or the importance of criteria like equity in decisions made by e.g. public bodies which often capacity and governance issues to take clear decisions or to follow up with the implementation of roles and rules. In addition, tenure is closely related and yet not the same as rights. It starts from the premise that tenure is a social relationship which can be formalized into law or not. Thus it recognizes evolving social relationships created under both formal and customary law.


The role of tenure in water governance, particularly in semi-arid contexts will be explored giving special attention to:

  • Discuss how we can have flexible arrangements for water allocations to cope with evolving social needs and priorities, while at the same time providing a secure resource base
  • How do we speed up a more equitable access and use of water to empower women?.
  • What criteria and implementation tools are available in the context of new rival uses particularly under conditions of scarcity and extreme events?.
  • How can we focus on the micro scale equity issues i.e. users at basin scale? Can tenure provide a lens to understand drivers and intervention points to speed up and generate more equitable outcomes?
  • How do we include the environment into the equity frame when there are so many short term pressures and no proper costing of environmental externalities? Does tenure add value to this debate?

The focus of the session will be particularly focused in areas which are already facing water scarcity and there is a need to make clear allocation choices. The session will be made of reflecting on tenure and equity issues in a number of countries; South Africa, Spain, India, Australia and Brazil through short pitch style presentations followed by a dialogue on main issues.

The role of water pricing in achieving equity and water security

  • Balancing efficiency and equity aspects of water security
  • Considering the governance situation when discussing water pricing
  • Technical challenges to water pricing reforms

Physical water scarcity is now experienced more often than before, in many locations around the globe, which has renewed the calls for increased efficiency in water use. Raising the price of water is often suggested as a powerful incentive to make water users save on water. A number of places also experience so called economic water scarcity, where it is a lack of functioning infrastructure and not lack of water resources that result in unmet demand. In these places, increased financing can be a useful part of the solution, which can be achieved through cost-recovery from water users.


Thus, in several ways, water pricing can be used to achieve water security. Both lower water withdrawals and increased investments in infrastructure would safeguard sustainable access to water. Lower water withdrawals would also help preserve aquatic ecosystems, while the infrastructure investments would help to ensure protection from water-borne diseases and water-related disasters. Water security can in certain respects be seen as the opposite of water scarcity.


Reforming a water pricing regime or introducing new water prices can however be a challenging task.King Arthur: Legend of the Sword film

It may be difficult to gain acceptance for increased prices, if an improved service or benefit is not tangible in the short term. It might not be obvious how to best design a new pricing instrument, but a need for adjustments may appear after some years. And if water security is meant to prevail for all groups in society, then not only efficient, but also equitable water use needs to be achieved.  It may not be reasonable to make everyone save on water, in particular households who only use water for their most basic needs. Further, the role of water for socio-economic development needs to be determined, in order to decide for which water users affordability concerns shall be considered (these could be low-income households, small-scale farmers, emerging industries or others).


Technical challenges may also be part of the picture. For instance, water meters are required if water prices shall have an effect on the volume consumed. Also, to estimate the scarcity value of water, the value of leaving water in the ecosystem needs first to be determined.

The detailled schedule of the section:

8:45 Introduction, chair person Eiman Karar, Water Research Commission in South Africa

8:50 Tarificación de servicios de agua y saneamiento – la experiencia de Chile, Humberto Peña

9:10 Water Pricing, Poverty and Equity – Scanning for linkages in Southern Africa, Johanna Sjödin, Stockholm International Water Institute

9:30 Pricing the priceless: valuing water for policy, Viju James, IDS Jaipur

9:50 Reflections on the previous presentations and the role of water pricing for equity and water security – the perspective of Brazil,
Marcos Freitas, water resources specialist, ANA, Brazil

10:10 Summary (and invitation to evaluate the session), Eiman Karar, Water Research Commission in South Africa

10:15 Questions and Answers (interaction with the audience)

10:30 End of session