Water data and information are essential to support efforts to understand, manage, allocate, utilize and protect water resources. The linkages between Water Information Systems and needs of decision makers are complex, but can be encapsulated in a Driving Force (Policy Needs) – Monitoring – Data Management – Reporting framework.
The rapid development in water policy reforms in many sectors and growing emphasis on demand-side policy solutions to water resources management has created an information imbalance. This imbalance can be characterised in terms of an inverted pyramid with implementation of many water policy initiatives supported by little data and information, especially related to economic and financial elements, to help guide decision makers toward more effective and efficient water resources management strategies. Additionally, as stress and demands on water systems increase and water becomes a more valued resource, this tends to increase the value of water information both for water providers and users. Nevertheless, many countries are reporting that the capacity to collect water information is being undermined by a lack of resources, while expertise to collect, analyse and interpret water data for decision makers is being lost. Finally, the impact of climate change on hydrological regimes represents a key potential stress on water systems. This issue could be the catalyst for adapting policies to provide more efficient and effective use and management of water resources and advance institutional and governance reforms in the water sector.
This book is based on a special issue of the International Journal of Water Resources Development.
Preface Cecilia Tortajada 1. Improving the Information Base to Better Guide Water Resource Management Decision Making Kevin Parris 2. Do the Virtual Water and Water Footprint Perspectives Enhance Policy Discussions? Dennis Wichelns 3. Changing Roles in Canadian Water Management: A Case Study of Agriculture and Water in Canada’s South Saskatchewan River Basin Darrell R. Corkal, Harry Diaz & David Sauchyn 4. Drivers of Economic Information in River Basin Planning Josefina Maestu & Carlos Mario Gomez 5. Consequences of Increasing Environmental Complexity in the Water Domain Rudy Vannevel 6. Challenges for Integrated Water Resources Management: How Do We Provide the Knowledge to Support Truly Integrated Thinking? Rachael A. McDonnell 7. Advances in Decision Support Systems for Flood Disaster Management: Challenges and Opportunities Jason K. Levy, Chennat Gopalakrishnan and Zhaohui Lin
Most of the world’s water problems, and their solutions, are directly related to policies and governance, both specific to water and in general. Two of the world’s leading journals in this area, the International Journal of Water Resources Development (sponsored by the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico) and Water International (the official journal of the International Water Resources Association), contribute to this special issues series, aimed at disseminating new knowledge on the policy and governance of water resources to a very broad and diverse readership all over the world. The series should be of direct interest to all policy makers, professionals and lay readers concerned with obtaining the latest perspectives on addressing the world’s many water issues.