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2008 Kosi Flood +The breach site for the 2008 flood was in Nepal, and most of the flood impacts there occurred in the Sunsari districts, with about 60,000 people affected. However, a few kilometers downstream, in India, about 3.3 million people were affected in Bihar (Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Araria and Purnia districts). Neither the 1954 or 1966 Kosi Project Agreements addressed the issue of economic responsibility for disasters due to project failure. While flooding had been common along the river prior to the agreements, no mechanism was included to address future flood concerns, disaster response capacity, or economic outcomes or responsibility in case of infrastructure failure. Additionally, the shifting path of the Kosi and powerful scouring and sedimentation patterns along the river have proved to be a greater challenge than originally envisioned by the engineers who developed the project. The flood control structures have altered the flood regime, but without constant monitoring and maintenance, they are likely to fail again. While the project altered the original flood risks in the region, it has had unintended outcomes that include high maintenance costs and increased risk of catastrophic flood due to structural failures. The Project Agreements address the need to provide maintenance for the structures, but did not identify or address specific needs or provide a mechanism for strong enforcement of the responsibilities of either party.  +


A Salty Affair: An Analysis of U.S. – Mexico Water Diplomacy in the Colorado River +Mexico could have brought the case brought to the International Court of Justice. It had arguments to held the United States responsible under customary international law for the damages caused by the high salinity levels in the Colorado River.  +
A Salty Affair: An Analysis of U.S. – Mexico Water Diplomacy in the Colorado River +Minute No. 241- Recommendations to Improve Immediately the Quality of Colorado River Waters going to Mexico determined the substitution of 118,000 acre-feet with equal volumes of other waters. Moreover, Minute No. 242 Permanent and Definitive Solution to the International Problem of the Salinity of the Colorado River - recognizes the United States obligation to deliver water under certain salinity level. No more than 115 ppm ± 30 ppm measured against the waters which feed the Imperial Dam salinity levels.  +
Addressing Declining Groundwater Supply in Umatilla County, Oregon, USA +Selection of Stakeholders: the Critical Groundwater Areas primarily are located within the western portion of Umatilla County and the Planning Commission recognized that basin-wide water use needed to be addressed before any plans were developed. The members of the Task Force were chosen based upon their respective geographic areas rather than vocational, urban, or Tribal designations. Members were selectively chosen by the Board of Commissioners based upon level of commitment to resolve the water management issue, not to represent vested interests or groups. Task Force agreed upon a methodology: after the Task Force was created, they based their public involvement/outreach strategy loosely along the lines of the principles of Collaborative Learning, which was designed at Oregon State University.(Daniels, S. E., & Walker, G. B. 2001). This methodology utilizes systems thinking processes to structure conflict management and foster alternative dispute resolution, which is useful in broad natural resource situations with a variety of stakeholder involvement.  +


Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant - Issue between Pakistan and India +Mutual Treaties clearly delineating rights and obligations of the parties involved with a suitable balance between water and benefit sharing with a dispute resolution mechanism as described for IWT above (while addressing it’s weaknesses) with binding nature of Third Part decisions is a good mechanism. Alternatively, the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 21 May 1997, which recently became effective, if ratified by the parties concerned can provide protection to the downstream riparians. (Note: Remember that some times the upper riparians need to protect their rights as well; e.g. in Nile Basin).  +
Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant - Issue between Pakistan and India +Attributes that support sufficient structure and stability while supporting flexibility and adaptation to future circumstances: # Clarity about rights and obligations # Time bound framework for settlement of disputes/ objections bilaterally and through party; if bilateral efforts fail in the given time, up front of construction works. # A comprehensive clause in the treatise regarding future cooperation on all matters including but not limited to lacunas in the treaty and future challenges in the interest of the most complete and satisfactory utilization of waters. This will provide flexibility and adaptability for future uncertainties. # Institutional mechanism , such as a joint commission, required to inter alia focus on thinking about and promoting cooperation and regularly preparing a report (say annually) for the governments involved with concrete suggestions to promote cooperations for matters such as elucidated in the question. # Compulsory collection and sharing of data requested by parties, in real time where possible, except for reasons of military defense. # A suitable balance between water sharing and benefit sharing. # Binding nature of Third Party decisions, provided that the Third Party comprises of a panel of 5 to 7 persons instead of a single man.  +
Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant - Issue between Pakistan and India +Mutual trust can be nurtured through * seamless sharing of data and information through the most efficient means of communications, * promotion of mutual exchanges to stake holders to build fraternal bonds (e.g experts, academia, farmers, intelligentia, opinion makers, politicians, civil society organizations etc) through conferences, sharing of knowledge, interactive engagements. Specific situations to be avoided are: * misleading emotive and irresponsible statements * unilateral start of projects without resolution of issues upfront. * violations of provisions of treaties * tendencies to gain political mileage or media exposures. * non water actions (such as political, military, commercial, terrorism etc) which can vitiate the general feeling of mutual trust.  +


Case Study of Transboundary Dispute Resolution: Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources (Middle East) +In attempts at resolving particularly contentious disputes, solving problems of politics and resource use is best accomplished in two mutually reinforcing tracks. The most useful lesson of the multilateral working group on water resources is the handling of water and political tensions simultaneously, in the bilateral and multilateral working groups respectively, each track helping to reinforce the other. This lesson has been learned after a long history of failing to solve water problems outside of their political context.  +
Case Study of Transboundary Dispute Resolution: Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources (Middle East) +Successful negotiations might include an eventual simultaneous narrowing and broadening of focus, to move from the neutral topics necessary in early stages of negotiation, to dealing with the contentious issues at the heart of a water conflict. Concepts of integrated water management may also be included. While relatively neutral topics were vital in the early stages of the negotiations, some shift may be in order to be able to handle watershed-wide problems such as water rights and allocations. This narrowing of focus might be accompanied by a simultaneous broadening, to include all issues of water rights, quantity and quality relevant to a basin within one framework.  +
Case Study of Transboundary Dispute Resolution: the Tigris-Euphrates Basin +When one riparian holds the most geographic and military power, equitable agreements are difficult to reach. With the large majority of water originating in Turkey and Turkey having the most advanced military power, it has less incentive to work cooperatively with Syria and Iraq and to approach negotiations with a "basket of benefits" outlook.  +
Case Study of Transboundary Dispute Resolution: the Tigris-Euphrates Basin +Unilateral development of water resources leads to increasing tension over water. Developments in the basin have been made unilaterally without the cooperation of other riparian countries. This has increased resentment of downstream riparian’s that had no say in developments that occurred upstream.  +
Case Study of Transboundary Dispute Resolution: the Tigris-Euphrates Basin +When mostly bilateral talks are used to attempt to resolve issues, the most powerful country typically maintains their power. In bilateral talks, Turkey has succeeded in maintaining its power in the water dispute. Syria lost one of its "playing cards" in overall negotiations when it signed the Adana Agreement.  +
Colorado River Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead +The Interim Guidelines looked beyond allocation and provided additional mechanisms for the storage and delivery of water in Lake Mead to increase flexibility of meeting its water needs. Specifically, it incentivized conservation efforts and storage of unused allocations in Lake Mead to maintain its elevation via creation of a legal construct called “Intentionally Created Surplus” (ICS) water.  +
Colorado River Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead +Framing a new agreement to include specific water allocations to parties under a variety of scenarios can ensure resilience of an agreement through uncertain futures. One expert described a “new era” of the Colorado River in which the future hydrology “cannot be reasonably estimated by simply using the available gauge record.” Basin States “acknowledged the potential for impacts due to climate change and increased hydrologic variability” and collaborated on scenario planning in response. The 2007 Interim Guidelines defined specific deliveries to each Basin at stepped storage elevations of the reservoirs. Cognizant of the highly uncertain water supply in the Basin, the Guidelines defined allocations which addressed surplus, normal, and shortage conditions. The Guidelines included further protection from shortage by giving the Secretary of the Interior the authority to take additional necessary actions at critical elevations to avoid Lower Basin shortage as the conditions approach thresholds.  +
Competing Demands Among Water Uses in the Apalachicola- Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin +This case study indicates that national policies, such as government subsidies for certain crops, can significantly influence water use at the local level. By altering subsidies to encourage farmers to grow more water-efficient crops, national policy could potentially support more sustainable water use. However, it is important to keep in mind that changing government agricultural subsidies will have many other social and economic effects that must be considered.  +
Competing Demands Among Water Uses in the Apalachicola- Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin +1. Do agricultural subsidies influence water use in the Flint River Basin? Our analysis shows that agricultural subsidies play a key role in influencing what crops farmers grow, thereby directly affecting water use in the basin. 2. Can agricultural subsidies potentially be used to improve water management and reduce conflict in the ACF basin? This analysis suggests that altering national subsidies for certain crops could significantly reduce agricultural water requirements in the Flint, thereby freeing up water for other uses in the ACF and potentially reducing conflict. 3. Can agricultural policy and management—particularly subsidies—promote more sustainable water use in water-stressed basins? The case of the Flint River Basin suggests that agricultural policies and management strategies, such as direct subsidies to farmers, can be used to reduce water demand and potentially promote more sustainable water use in water-stressed basins. See [[ASI:Agricultural Subsidies | the article Agricultural Subsidies]] for more information on agricultural subsidies within the Flint River Basin  +
Conflict Management Strategies Among Riparians Within the Indus River Basin +Water was separated out from other contentious issues between India and Pakistan. This allowed negotiations to continue, even in light of tensions over other topics. Water problems were to be viewed as "functional" rather than political. Some points may be agreed to more quickly, if it is explicitly agreed that a precedent is not being set. In the 1948 agreement, Pakistan agreed to pay India for water deliveries. This point was later used by India to argue that, by paying for the water, Pakistan recognized India’s water rights. Pakistan, in contrast, argued that they were paying only for operation and maintenance. In an early meeting (May 1952), both sides agreed that any data may be used without committing either side to its "relevance or materiality," thereby precluding delays over data discrepancies.  +
Conflict Management Strategies Among Riparians Within the Indus River Basin +Positive, active, and continuous involvement of a third party is vital in helping to overcome conflict. The active participation of Eugene Black and the World Bank were crucial to the success of the Indus Water Treaty. The Bank offered not only their good offices, but a strong leadership role as well. The Bank provided support staff, funding, and, perhaps most important, its own proposals when negotiations reached a stalemate. Coming to the table with financial assistance can provide sufficient incentive for a breakthrough in agreement. The Bank helped raise almost 900 million from the international community, allowing for Pakistan’s final objections to be addressed.  +
Conflict Management Strategies Among Riparians Within the Indus River Basin +Power inequities may delay the pace of negotiations. Power inequities may have delayed pace of negotiations. India had both a superior riparian position, as well as a relatively stronger central government, than Pakistan. The combination may have acted as disincentive to reach agreement. In particularly hot conflicts, when political concerns override, a sub-optimal solution may be the best one can achieve. The plan pointedly disregards the principle of integrated water management, recognizing that between these particular riparians, the most important issue was control by each state of its own resource. Structural division of the basin, while crucial for political reasons, effectively precludes the possibility of increased integrated management.  +
Creative Options and Value Creation to Address Water Security in the Eastern Nile Basin +==Non-conventional water resources== The second research question inquiries about the potential water increments/savings to be reached through the implementation of non-conventional water resources (NCWR). They can be used as a complement to conventional water resources to relieve water scarcity in regions where renewable water resources are insufficient. Qadir et al. (2007) present an interesting review on NCWR with focus on food-security in Middle East and North Africa. Desalination of seawater and highly brackish groundwater, rainwater harvesting and the use of marginal-quality water resources for irrigation are mentioned as alternatives for water augmentation at different scales. ENB countries show little and scattered efforts on the road of NCWR. Desalination in Egypt has been given low priority because the cost of treatment is high compared with other sources (MWRI, 2014). Several desalination plants operate on the coasts of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to provide water for seaside resorts and hotels (FAO-AQUASTAT, 2015), where the value of water is high enough to cover the treatment costs (MWRI, 2014). Sudan started to walk the same road, provided seawater desalination has been recently introduced in Port Sudan town (FAO-AQUASTAT, 2015) In terms of rainwater harvesting and the reuse of drainage and wastewater, the difference among the countries is notorious. In Egypt, rainfall occurs only in winter and it cannot be considered a reliable source provided its high spatial and temporal variability (MWRI, 2014). Despite of this, rainwater harvesting is practiced in the regions of Matruh and North Sinai (FAO-AQUASTAT, 2015). On the other hand, traditional water harvesting practices are found in all the states of Sudan, where small reservoirs catch rainfall and runoff for domestic use in villages and pastoralists in remote areas (FAO-AQUASTAT, 2015). Concerning water reuse, about 25 to 30% of agricultural drainage of irrigation water in areas on both sides of the Nile Valley returns to the River Nile or main irrigation canals in Upper Egypt and in the southern Delta. Also, Egypt takes the lead in the region by treating part of its municipal wastewater and reusing it for irrigation either directly or mixed with drainage water (FAO-AQUASTAT, 2015; MWRI, 2014). The region shows potential for increasing, improving and introducing NCWR. As an instance on this regard, I look at good examples within and outside ENB. A small country, Singapore hosts 3.4 million people inside 720 square kilometers of territory (similar to New York City). Despite its lack of natural water resources and pollution in its rivers, this “big city” overcome water shortages by building a robust, diversified and sustainable water supply system out of four different sources known as the Four National Taps, referencing local rainwater harvesting, wastewater reuse, desalination technology and imported water (PUB, 2015) Singapore had mostly water quality problems due to discharges of raw wastewater from households and formal and informal economic activities (pig farms, shipbuilding industry, etc.). This forced the country to ration the water supply and thereby depend deeply on water transfer from the neighbor country Malaysia. In the period 1977-1987, eleven government agencies worked together to reverse an unsustainable reality. Today, the country collects water from 2/3 of its territory through an 8,000-Km drain network and storages it in 17 reservoirs. It also recycles wastewater using micro-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection, which is used to cover 30% of freshwater demand, mainly in the industry sector and for topping up reservoirs in dry seasons. In addition, Singapore uses reverse osmosis to turn seawater into freshwater, meeting 25% of the demand. Finally, the country’s fourth tap comes through an agreement with Malaysia, valid until 2061, which enables the island to withdraw up to 250 MGD from the Johor River (Tang, 2015) I believe there might be something to learn from Singapore that could be applied in the densely populated cities of Cairo and Khartoum, which host more than 18 and 5 million people respectively?  +
Creative Options and Value Creation to Address Water Security in the Eastern Nile Basin +==Creating and packaging options== The first research question is about how options or strategies, that address water issues creatively and/or build on possible technology innovations, can be packaged and employed to create non-zero sum choices within negotiations. Options need to be creatively generated and then packaged in such a way that the value of the whole is larger than the sum of the individual parts. This is the key of the value creation principle in negotiation. In the arena of the water resources management, competing interests can be met simultaneously if stakeholders find ingenious ways of using the same water in a variety of ways. This means “tearing apart” the traditional view that water is a fixed resource and introducing the concept of “water as a pie” that can be enlarged. Islam and Susskind (2012) argue that successful value creation requires time investment to “make the pie as large as possible” before distributing gains and losses. This is very much linked with the need of understanding each other’s interests, for which information sharing is crucial. Even though the theory is quite clear and tempting, applications of this approach help the reader better understand its virtues in context. L. E. Susskind and Rumore (2015) tested the application of “devising seminars”, originally developed by Fisher and others in the 70s, on Artic fisheries. The rationale behind this tool is bringing together stakeholders for an off-the-record, facilitated event were stakeholders brainstorm around the collective problems. The authors believe this tool helps overcome the barrier of lack of good and widely-supported ideas typically present in the public policy arena. The CALFED Delta-Bay case in California (USA) is one of the best-documented instances of water-negotiation. Multiple stakeholders participated, shifting their mission from a battle over who would make sacrifices to a search for new ways of managing the resource. Open information was a key element in the success of this case, as the availability of real-time information on water allowed stakeholders to better foresee and plan accordingly (Islam & Susskind, 2012). This model emerged after several years of frustrated negotiations under the traditional governance system, giving place to a new one where collaboration and adaptive management are central (Innes, Connick, Kaplan, & Booher, 2006) Gryzbowski, McCaffrey, and Paisley (2009) analyzed several water treaties, particularly focusing on scenarios of and approaches for negotiations. Scenarios might be either “narrow” or “open”, depending on whether parties get stuck on mere definitions or they recognize their pros and cons and use the time to mutual gains developments. The approach to negotiate might be either positional or interest-geared. Provided most negotiations involve parties with more than one problem or concern, this is an opportunity for value creation. The treaty of peace between Israel and Jordan in 1994 is an example of value creation and trust enhancement. Parties included within the agreement elements such as desalination, water banking and transfer in water rights, showing that the combination of technological innovation and a collaborative administration can facilitate problem solving and enhance the chances for win-win sustainable solutions (L. Susskind & Islam, 2012). Conversely, the Danube River negotiation case in 1994 was wrongly addressed, as the two concerns for the riparian countries, economic development and environment, were addressed separately, missing the opportunity of value creation. “The results of the two negotiations cancelled each other out”, yielding winners and losers (Islam & Susskind, 2012) Value creation in TBW disputes happens when parties engage in joint-fact finding, formulate contingent agreements and emphasize adaptive management (Islam & Susskind, 2012). In addition, sustainable solutions are a consequence of well-designed problem-solving or negotiation process (Innes and Booher, 2010 in Islam and Susskind, 2012). Since 1999, the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) has been working on these lines. Primarily funded by the World Bank, NBI has generated a significant critical mass of projects through its two Subsidiary Actions Programs. One example of this is the Eastern Nile Multi-Sectoral Investment Opportunity Analysis (EN-MSIOA), one of a set of specific studies being carried out to facilitate cooperative water resource management and development in the Nile Basin (ENTRO, 2014). This study intends to support strategic planning decisions at the scale of the ENB, through different scenario simulations. Another recent study examined benefit sharing opportunities among the riparian countries in terms of water resources management. The authors explored the potential shared benefits steaming from the development and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), under construction in Ethiopia, and its impact to downstream countries and the High Aswan Dam. They found there is possibility for Ethiopia to be better off without any country being worse off if these two dams are managed in coordination (Habteyes, El-bardisy, Amer, Schneider, & Ward, 2015) I can affirm there are institutions in place, a portfolio of projects, and the urgent need for sustainable long-standing solutions. What is then keeping the Nile River Basin from taking off? It is time to put options together, package and deliver. For this to happen, however, enabling conditions are needed as discussed later on.  +


Drinking Water Supply in Phnom Penh, Cambodia +Cambodia is a downstream country in the Mekong river Basin and has potentially much to lose from uncontrolled upstream development of the river. China, the most upstream country in the basin, and Lao PDR have ongoing construction or plans to construct hydropower dams in the mainstream of the Mekong River, which has raised concerns of potential environmental, economic, and social impacts to downstream countries. As an upstream country with vast economic resources, there is little incentive for China to cooperate with downstream countries.  +


Efforts of Coordinating Joint Development of Hydropower Projects Within the Salween Basin +Upstream nations with superior strength can hinder joint management of river basins. China, with far more military might and economic power than both Thailand and Myanmar combined, has little incentive to work jointly with them in the management of the Salween River. Thailand and Myanmar's water resources from the Salween may be at great risk depending on what China decides to do on the upper part of the river.  +
Efforts of Coordinating Joint Development of Hydropower Projects Within the Salween Basin +Lack of inclusion of populations of a shared river basin in the decision-making processes may cause conflicts. The local populations in both Thailand and Myanmar have not been included in decision-making processes with regards to major hydroelectric projects. Whereas Thailand and Myanmar may work cooperatively to avoid conflict, large-scale projects may create or exacerbate intrastate conflicts.  +
Efforts of Coordinating Joint Development of Hydropower Projects Within the Salween Basin +The importance of water cooperation/economic development can supersede working with an oppressive regime. Even though Myanmar is controlled by a junta that is blamed for human rights violations, Thailand is still willing to cooperate with their government in order to promote regional management of the Salween River. For Thailand, the development of the Salween River and the benefits received from such development takes precedence over working with an oppressive regime. National sovereignty to protect water resources goes beyond international pressure.  +
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