Water and Sanitation Services in Europe: Do Legal Frameworks provide for "Good Governance"?
The IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science is providing comparative analysis of governance in water services provision (sanitation and water supply) as part of research undertaken for SUEZ ENVIRONMENT, carried out in an independent manner, in accordance with University of Dundee academic standards. The focus of this work is the need for transparency, public participation and access to justice for water consumers.
The aim of this research is to develop an analytical framework to study and compare national governance mechanisms. To do so, the research has analysed the national regulatory measures that ensure water governance concerning water tariff and customer standards setting in six countries: England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Spain. A list of 14 indicators for access to information, public participation and access to justice has been employed to compare and contrast national legal mechanisms across the countries.
Listen to a podcast interview on this project between Patricia Wouters, IHP-HELP Centre Director, and Mr Mova Al Afghani, PhD Candidate at the IHP-HELP Centre and Indonesian Water Law blogger:
UNESCO-IHE continues collaboration with Dutch ministry
A new agreement between the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and UNESCO-IHE was signed on 27 April.
The deal further strengthens the longstanding cooperation between the two organizations and will focus on priority areas. These priority areas are the Delta countries in which UNESCO-IHE is very active as well as in China and the USA.
These countries are of strategic importance in building Government to Government relations and in the transfer and exchange of knowledge.
Water management is a priority for these countries. Main activities under the MoU will cover projects related to Coastal Zone Management, River Basin Management, Water Quality and Quantity, Floods and Safety, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Wetlands Management, River and Coastal Engineering, as well as Water Governance and Adaptation to Climate Change as cross-cutting and emerging issues.
The signing marks the third phase of the formal cooperation between the two entities that started in 2003 and is expected to run until 2014.
Water, Life and Civilisation: Climate, Environment and Society in the Jordan Valley
International Hydrology Series - Edited by Steven Mithen and Emily Black
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Currently an interdisciplinary research project 'Hydropower‐to‐environment water transfers in the Zambezi basin' is carried out by UNESCO‐IHE Institute for Water Education, Eduardo Mondlane University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, WaterNet and WWF. The project aims to improve the sustainability of reservoir operation through the development of policy instruments, including reservoir operating policies and cost‐sharing mechanisms, which balance water uses for the environment and for energy generation. The Zambezi basin in Southern Africa will be used as a case study. Hydropower generation is a dominant feature in water management of the Zambezi basin, and a major player in the Southern African Power Pool.
The researcher will develop and test policy instruments and regulatory frameworks that effectively consider environmental flows when dispatching hydropower plants in a loose power pool (self-dispatch hydrothermal electrical system) for the Zambezi river basin.
Did you know...? Facts and figures about bioenergy and agricultural water use
Around 10% of the total energy supply comes from biomass, and most of that (80%) comes from the 'traditional' biomass sources of wood, dung and crop residues.
Globally, irrigation water allocated to biofuel production is estimated at 44 km3, or 2% of all irrigation water. Under current production conditions it takes an average of roughly 2,500 litres of water (about 820 litres of it irrigation water) to produce 1 litre of liquid biofuel (the same amount needed on average to produce food for one person for one day).
The share of irrigation water used for biofuel production is negligible in Brazil and the European Union and is estimated to be 2% in China and 3% in the United States.
Implementing all current national biofuel policies and plans would take 30 million hectares of cropland and 180 km3 of additional irrigation water.