1st Edition

Key Concepts in Water Resource Management A Review and Critical Evaluation

Edited By Jonathan Lautze Copyright 2014
    152 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    152 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The vocabulary and discourse of water resource management have expanded vastly in recent years to include an array of new concepts and terminology, such as water security, water productivity, virtual water and water governance. While the new conceptual lenses may generate insights that improve responses to the world’s water challenges, their practical use is often encumbered by ambiguity and confusion. 

    This book applies critical scrutiny to a prominent set of new but widely used terms, in order to clarify their meanings and improve the basis on which we identify and tackle the world’s water challenges. More specifically, the book takes stock of what several of the more prominent new terms mean, reviews variation in interpretation, explores how they are measured, and discusses their respective added value. It makes many implicit differences between terms explicit and aids understanding and use of these terms by both students and professionals. At the same time, it does not ignore the legitimately contested nature of some concepts. Further, the book enables greater precision on the interpretational options for the various terms, and for the value that they add to water policy and its implementation.

    1. Introduction 

    Jonathan Lautze 

    2. Water Scarcity  

    Jonathan Lautze and Munir A. Hanjra 

    3. Water Governance 

    Jonathan Lautze, Sanjiv de Silva, Mark Giordano, and Luke Sanford 

    4. Water Security 

    Jonathan Lautze and Herath Manthrithilake 

    5. Water Productivity 

    Jonathan Lautze, Xueliang Cai and Greenwell Matchaya 

    6. Virtual Water and Water Footprints 

    Dennis Wichelns 

    7. Green and Blue Water 

    Aditya Sood, Prathapar Sanmugan, Vladimir Smakhtin 

    8. Conclusions 

    Jonathan Lautze and Vladimir Smakhtin 

    Appendix: Other New Terms in Water Management 

    Munir A. Hanjra and Jonathan Lautze


    Jonathan Lautze is a researcher at the International Water Management Institute, based in its Pretoria office in South Africa.

    "The increasing centrality of water in the global development discourse has resulted in a proliferation of concepts and terminology without necessarily facilitating broad consensus on the underlying issues. This rapidly expanding lexicon draws from a range of diverse disciplines and the array of terms has the potential to limit their utility and ensure the challenges to which they refer remain abstract and elusive. This book fills an increasingly important need to provide an organising framework for the global discourse around water. By bringing together a set of critical analyses it serves to interrogate some of the dominant paradigms of our time and focus our attention on one of the most important global challenges that will inform our future." – Marcus Wishart, Senior Water Resources Specialist, World Bank. 

    "In the last few decades, water management has become more complex than ever before and management has to respond to new threats like climate change, rapid urbanization and growing demands from various sectors. Therefore, there is a need to craft even more nimble ways of managing water. This also means that water management concepts have evolved quickly over the recent decades and a multiplicity of terms like water governance, water productivity, water security, water footprints are often used without the needed precision. This book, edited by Jonathan Lautze, fills a much needed gap in policy and practice by subjecting these concepts to thorough scrutiny and comes up with a clear and nuanced understanding of these important but often misinterpreted concepts. As such, this book will find among its users not only academics, researchers and students but also policy makers and practitioners."Aditi Mukherji, Theme Leader, Water and Air, Integrated Centre for International Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Inaugural Winner of Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application by the World Food Prize. 

    "Water management is fundamental for food security, the environment and development especially in a world facing climate change. This book provides useful insights to elaborate phrases in the water sector that will benefit agricultural productivity and food security efforts. It gives a definitional framework that links scientific, operational and policy dialogues on water."Moffatt K. Ngugi, Climate Change & Environment in Agriculture Advisor, US Agency for International Development. 

    "How refreshing; a book which extends our understanding without the introduction of new terminology. This reference book is worth reading from cover to cover for the lucid analysis of some of the key concepts used by today’s water management community. By taking stock and reflecting, we are better equipped for the remainder of the journey." – Anton Earle, Director African Regional Centre, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

    "...it is a pleasure to read the marvellous, recently published little volume edited by Lautze (2014) on key concepts in water resource management" - James Nickum, in Water International (2015, Volume 40).