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Managing water resources for sustainable development: the case of integrated river basin management in China
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0297-598X
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
2010 (English)In: Water Science and Technology, ISSN 0273-1223, E-ISSN 1996-9732, Vol. 61, no 2, 499-506 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The emerging water crisis in China shows that the current institutional frameworks and policies with regard to water resources management are incapable of achieving an effective and satisfactory situation that includes Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM). This paper analyses this framework and related policies, examines their deficiencies in relation to all water stress problems and explores alternatives focusing on river basins. Water resources management reforms in modern China are reviewed and the main problems involved in transforming the current river management system into an IRBM-based system are analysed. The Huai River basin is used as an example of current river basin management, with quantitative data serving to show the scale and scope of the problems in the country as a whole. The institutional reforms required are discussed and a conceptual institutional framework is proposed to facilitate the implementation of IRBM in China. In particular, the roles, power and responsibilities of River Basin Commissions (RBCs) should be legally strengthened; the functions of supervising, decision-making and execution should be separated; and cross-sectoral legislation, institutional coordination and public participation at all levels should be promoted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 61, no 2, 499-506 p.
Keyword [en]
China, Huai river, institutional framework, integrated river basin, management, policy
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-19178DOI: 10.2166/wst.2010.848ISI: 000274247100025PubMedID: 20107277Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77950347744OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-19178DiVA: diva2:337225
Note
QC 20110126Available from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A Pressure-oriented Approach to Water Management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Pressure-oriented Approach to Water Management
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Without a comprehensive understanding of anthropogenic pressures on the water environment, it is difficult to develop effective and efficient strategies to support water management in a proactive way. A broader systems perspective and expanded information systems are therefore essential to aid in systematically exploring interlinks between socioeconomic activities and impaired waters at an appropriate scale.

This thesis examined the root causes of human-induced water problems, taking the socioeconomic sector into account and using systems thinking and life cycle thinking as the two main methods. The European DPSIR (Drivers-Pressures-State of the Environment-Impacts-Responses) framework was also used as a basis for discussing two kinds of approaches to water management, namely state/impacts-oriented and pressure-oriented.

The results indicate that current water management approaches are mainly state/impacts-oriented. The state/impacts-oriented approach is mainly based on observed pollutants in environmental monitoring and/or on biodiversity changes in ecological monitoring. Employing this approach, the main concern is hydrophysical and biogeochemical changes in the water environment and the end result is reactive responses to combat water problems.

As a response, a pressure-oriented approach, derived from a DPR (Drivers-Pressures-Responses) model, was developed to aid in alleviating/avoiding human-induced pressures on the water environment. From a principal perspective, this approach could lead to proactive water-centric policy and decision making and the derivation of pressure-oriented information systems. The underlying principle of the DPR approach is that many root causes of human-induced water problems are closely related to anthroposphere metabolism. An industrial ecology (IE) perspective, based on the principle of mass/material balance, was also introduced to trace water flows in the human-oriented water system and to account for emissions/wastes discharged into the natural water system. This IE-based perspective should be used as part of the basis for developing pressure-oriented monitoring and assessing impacts of human-induced pressures on recipient waters.

While demonstrating the use of the pressure-oriented approach, two conceptual frameworks were developed, for water quantity and water quality analysis, respectively. These two frameworks could help motivate decision makers to consider water problems in a broader socioeconomic and environment context. Thus they should be the first step in making a broader systems analysis in any given river basin, regarding setting systems boundary and identifying data availability. In this context, a combined hydrological and administrative boundary is suggested to monitor anthropogenic processes and organise socioeconomic activity statistics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. xii, 111 p.
Series
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2012:04
Keyword
DPR model. DPSIR framework. human-environment. industrial ecology. life cycle thinking. pressure-oriented approach. socioeconomic metabolism. systems thinking. water information. water quality. water quantity
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-94861 (URN)978-91-637-0429-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-31, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20120515Available from: 2012-05-15 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2012-05-23Bibliographically approved

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