Remote sensing / Wetlands / Floodplains / Farmland / Water availability / Rice / Intensification / Crop production Record No:H051441
Strauch, A.; Bunting, P.; Campbell, J.; Cornish, N.; Eberle, J.; Fatoyinbo, T.; Franke, J.; Hentze, K.; Lagomasino, D.; Lucas, R.; Paganini, M.; Rebelo, Lisa-Maria; Riffler, M.; Rosenqvist, A.; Steinbach, S.; Thonfeld, F.; Tottrup, C. 2022. The fate of wetlands: can the view from space help us to stop and reverse their global decline? In Kavvada, A.; Cripe, D.; Friedl, L. (Eds.). Earth observation applications and global policy frameworks. Washington, DC, USA: American Geophysical Union (AGU); Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley. pp.85-104. (Geophysical Monograph Series 274)[DOI] More...
Wetlands are among the most vulnerable, threatened, valuable, diverse, and heterogeneous ecosystems existing on our planet. While they provide invaluable ecosystem services to our society, they have been declining globally for many centuries. Monitoring of these changes is necessary for implementing efficient conservation policies and sustainable management schemes. Earth observation techniques can support the effort of monitoring, assessing, and inventorying wetlands at different scales with ever growing capabilities and toolsets. While the GEO-Wetlands initiative provides a framework for collaboratively increasing and utilizing these capabilities, global stakeholders like the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and U.N. Environment are starting to adopt EO-based methods in their guidelines and technical reports. Many challenges still remain, although different projects and case studies successfully demonstrate the opportunities provided by the growing data archives, analysis algorithms, and processing capabilities. Many of these demonstrations focus on local wetland sites. The mapping and inventorying, specifically of vegetated wetlands, on national or even global scales remains a challenge for the wetlands and EO communities for years to come. Collaboration and partnership between different stakeholders of both communities are key for success. Initiatives like GEO-Wetlands, in cooperation with global stakeholders, need to provide the framework for this collaborative effort.
Case studies / Normalized difference vegetation index / Land cover / Land use / Mangroves / Water quality / Surface water / Water resources / Ecosystem services / Stakeholders / Sustainable Development Goals / Mapping / Datasets / Landsat / Earth observation satellites / Frameworks / Collaboration / Monitoring / Wetlands Record No:H051369
Producing more food for a growing population requires sustainable crop intensification and diversification, particularly in high-potential areas such as the seasonal floodplain wetlands of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). With emerging water shortages and concerns for conserving these multi-functional wetlands, a further expansion of the cropland area must be avoided as it would entail increased use of blue water for irrigation and infringe on valuable protected areas. We advocate an efficient use of the prevailing green water on the existing cropland areas, where small-scale farmers grow a single crop of rainfed lowland rice during the wet season. However, soil moisture at the onset of the rains (pre-rice niche) and residual soil moisture after rice harvest (post-rice niche) may suffice to cultivate short-cycled crops. We developed a methodological approach to analyze the potential for green water cultivation in the pre- and post-rice niches in the Kilombero Valley Floodplain in Tanzania, as a representative case for seasonal floodplain wetlands in SSA. The three-step approach used open-access remote sensing datasets to: (i) extract cropland areas; (ii) analyze soil moisture conditions using evaporative stress indices to identify the pre- and post-rice niches; and (iii) quantify the green water availability in the identified niches through actual evapotranspiration (AET).
We identified distinct patterns of green water being available both before and after the rice-growing period. Based on the analyses of evaporative stress indices, the pre-rice niche tends to be longer (~70 days with average AET of 20–40 mm/10-day) but also more variable (inter-annual variability gt;30%) than the post-rice niche (~65 days with average AET of 10–30 mm/10-day, inter-annual variability lt;15%). These findings show the large potential for cultivating short-cycled crops beyond the rice-growing period, such as green manure, vegetables, maize, and forage legumes, by shifting a portion of the nonproductive AET flows (i.e., soil evaporation) to productive flows in form of crop transpiration. A cropland area of 1452 to 1637 km2 (53–60% of the total cropland area identified of 2730 km2) could be cultivated using available green water in the dry season, which shows the significance of such change for food security, livelihoods, and resilience of the agricultural community in Kilombero. A wider application of the developed approach in this study can help identifying opportunities and guiding interventions and investments towards establishing sustainable intensification and diversification practices in floodplain wetlands in SSA.
Spatial distribution / Datasets / Livelihoods / Land cover / Farmland / Dry farming / Soil moisture / Rice / Rainfed farming / Diversification / Sustainable intensification / Food security / Evapotranspiration / Wetlands / Floodplains / Assessment / Remote sensing / Crop production / Water availability Record No:H051176
Freshwater in both natural and man-made stores is critical for socioeconomic development. Globally, cumulative reduction in terrestrial water storage from 1971 to 2020 is estimated to be of the order of 27,079 Bm3. Although insignificant in comparison to the total volume stored, the decrease in ‘operational’ water stored (i.e., the proportion of water storage that is sustainably utilizable by people) is estimated to be of the order of 3% to 5% since 1971. In many places, both natural and man-made water storage are declining simultaneously, exacerbating water stress. Conjunctive use of different water stores is a prerequisite for water security and it is vital that natural water stores are fully integrated, alongside man-made water infrastructure, in future water resources planning and management.
Ecosystem services / Hydropower / Irrigation / Water use / Satellite observation / Sedimentation / Estimates / Water budget / Water management / Water supply / Climate change / Anthropogenic changes / Resilience / Water security / Sea level / Soil moisture / Paddy fields / Wetlands / Lakes / Dams / Reservoirs / Water depletion / Groundwater / Permafrost / Glaciers / Water storage / Freshwater resources Record No:H051016
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands emphasizes the “wise use” of wetlands by conserving the ecological character of wetlands while managing the socio-economic value these landscapes hold for different stakeholders. Reviewing the Convention obligations, resolutions, and guidelines through a feminist political ecology lens, we find them to be overtly simplistic and technocratic. A deliberately generic framing of socio-ecological interrelations and of economic trade-offs between wetland uses and users obscures broader political and social contexts which shape complex nature-society interrelations in the use, management, and governance of wetlands. Poverty, the cultural significance of wetlands—particularly for indigenous communities—and gender equality have only recently been considered in wetlands management and governance guidelines and interventions. These recent additions provide little insight on the power imbalances which shape plural values, meanings, experiences, and voices in wetlands use and governance, especially for the most marginalized of wetlands users. We welcome the call for a “reformulation” of a socio-ecological approach to managing and governing wetlands, but caution that unless wetlands governance structures and processes are re-politicized, changes in policies and approaches will likely remain rhetorical.
Local communities / Guidelines / Governance / Ecological factors / Social aspects / Policies / Inclusion / Political ecology / Women / Gender / Conventions / Wetlands Record No:H050500
Dickens, Chris; McCartney, Matthew. 2021. Water-Related Ecosystems. In Filho, W. L.; Azul, A. M.; Brandli, L.; Salvia, A. L.; Wall, T. (Eds.). Clean water and sanitation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 10p. (Online first) (Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals)[DOI] More...
Development indicators / Water quality / Rivers / Wetlands / Environmental flows / Biodiversity / Aquatic ecosystems / Goal 15 Life on land / Goal 13 Climate action / Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation / Sustainable Development Goals / Ecosystem services / Freshwater ecosystems Record No:H050496
This paper outlines a new and integrated water storage agenda for resilient development in a world increasingly characterised by water stress and climate uncertainty and variability.; Storing water has long been a cornerstone of socio-economic development, particularly for societies exposed to large climatic variability. Nature has always supplied the bulk of water storage on earth, but built storage has increased significantly, particularly over the twentieth century. Today, numerous countries suffer from water storage gaps and increasingly variable precipitation, threatening sustainable development and even societal stability. There is a growing need to develop more storage types and manage existing storage better. At the same time, the policy, engineering, and scientific communities may not fully recognise the extent of these storage gaps and how best to manage them. There are large and uncertain costs and benefits of different types of storage, and developing storage can be risky and controversial. Although there is consensus that built and natural storage are fundamentally complementary, there is still no pragmatic agenda to guide future integrated water storage development.; This paper argues that water storage should be recognised as a service rather than only a facility. More than volumes of water stored behind a dam or in a watershed, what ultimately matters is the ability to provide different services at a particular time and place with a given level of assurance. Integrated storage systems should be developed and managed to deliver a targeted service standard. This will reduce the costs of new storage development and make the benefits more sustainable.; As this paper demonstrates, there are numerous data gaps pertaining to water storage, as well as a need for greater clarity on some key concepts. This paper does not introduce new data or research but rather provides a review of some of the current knowledge and issues around water storage, and outlines a new, integrated and constructive water storage agenda for the decades to come.
Wetlands / Reservoirs / Glaciers / River basins / Lakes / Dams / Aquifers / Groundwater / Soil moisture / Rainfall patterns / Risk / Water demand / Infrastructure / Water supply / Socioeconomic development / Resilience / Climate change / Sustainable development / Water management / Water resources / Integrated management / Water storage Record No:H050263
Monsoons / Nutrients / Wetlands / Ecosystems / International waters / Water resources / Risk reduction / Communities / Riparian zones / Hydrological factors / River basins / Regulations / Zoning / Policies / Governance / Flood control / Floodplains / Flooding Record No:H050792
McCartney, Matthew; Dickens, Chris. 2021. Landscape regeneration and the role of water. In Filho, W. L.; Azul, A. M.; Brandli, L.; Salvia, A. L.; Wall, T. (Eds.). Clean water and sanitation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 10p. (Online first). (Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals)[DOI] More...
Land degradation / Water quality / Flooding / Runoff / Rivers / Wetlands / Grasslands / Forests / Sustainable Development Goals / Freshwater ecosystems / Water resources / Environmental restoration / Landscape conservation Record No:H050016
Wetlands are abundant across the African continent and provide a range of ecosystem services on different scales but are threatened by overuse and degradation. It is essential that national governments enable and ensure the sustainable use of wetland resources to maintain these services in the long run. As informed management decisions require reliable, up-to-date, and large coverage spatial data, we propose a modular Earth observation-based framework for the geo-localisation and characterization of wetlands in East Africa. In this study, we identify four major challenges in spatial data supported wetland management and present a framework to address them. We then apply the framework comprising Wetland Delineation, Surface Water Occurrence, Land Use/Land Cover classification and Wetland Use Intensity for the whole of Rwanda and evaluate the ability of these layers to meet the identified challenges. The layers’ spatial and temporal characteristics make them combinable and the information content, of each layer alone as well as in combination, renders them useful for different wetland management contexts.
Spatial data / Decision making / Large scale systems / Ecosystems / Land cover / Land use / Surface water / Environmental protection / Food security / Sustainable use / Earth observation satellites / Environmental management / Wetlands Record No:H050718
Understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of surface water in varied, remote and inaccessible isolated floodplain lakes is difficult. Seasonal inundation patterns of these isolated lakes can be misestimated in a hydrodynamic model due to the short time of connectivity. The seasonal and annual variability of the Dinder River flow has great impact on what is so called Mayas wetlands, and hence, on the habitats and the ecological status of the Dinder National Park. This variability produces large morphological changes due to sediment transported within the river or from the upper catchment, which affects inflows to Mayas wetlands and floodplain inundation in general. In this paper, we investigated the morphological dimension using a quasi-3D modelling approach to support the management of the valuable Mayas wetlands ecosystems, and in particular, assessment of hydrological and morphological regime of the Dinder River as well as the Musa Maya. Six scenarios were developed and tested. The first three scenarios consider three different hydrologic conditions of average, wet and dry years under the existing system with the constructed connection canal. While the other three scenarios consider the same hydrologic conditions but under the natural system without an artificial connection canal. The modelling helps to understand the effect of human intervention (connection canal) on the Musa Maya. The comparison between the simulated scenarios concludes that the hydrodynamics and sedimentology of the Maya are driven by the two main factors: a) the hydrological variability of Dinder River; and b) deposited sediment plugs in the connection canal.
Ecosystems / National parks / Rivers / Canals / Erosion / Sediment / Water levels / Morphology / Hydrological factors / Modelling / Hydrodynamics / Flooding / Floodplains / Wetlands Record No:H049807
Smakhtin, V.; Perera, D.; Qadir, M.; Aureli, A.; Carvalho-Resende, T.; Dhot, N.; Findikakis, A.; Villholth, Karen G.; Gurdak, J. J.; Zandaryaa, S.; Hulsmann, S.; Medlicott, K.; Connor, R.; Timmerman, J. 2020. Water availability, infrastructure and ecosystems. In UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP); UN-Water. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2020: water and climate change. Paris, France: UNESCO. pp.46-57. More... | Fulltext (37.7 MB)
This chapter establishes linkages between climate change and various aspects of water management. Adaptation and resilience-building options are presented with respect to water storage – including groundwater – and water supply and sanitation infrastructure, and unconventional water supply options are described. Mitigation options for water management systems are also presented.
Aquifers / Wetlands / Coastal area / Sanitation / Wastewater treatment / Water reuse / Water supply / Water security / Water scarcity / Water storage / Resilience / Groundwater / Water resources / Climate change mitigation / Water management / Climate change adaptation / Ecosystems / Infrastructure / Water availability Record No:H049601
Infrastructure / Financing / Investment / Resilience / Disaster prevention / Flood control / Wetlands / Farmers / Smallholders / Water user associations / Water conservation / Soil conservation / Pollution by agriculture / Water pollution / Resource management / Water accounting / Water governance / Water law / Groundwater irrigation / Irrigation management / Solar energy / Food security / Research programmes / CGIAR / Sustainable Development Goals / Sustainable agriculture / Water management Record No:H049534
Natural wetlands are green infrastructure systems that are energy-efficient for wastewater treatment and can be found in diverse geo-environmental settings around the world. Their structure and functions, which defines the treatment efficiencies are highly varied. Wetlands over shallow bedrock and geological lineaments (weak zones) have been known to contribute to groundwater contamination. However, not many studies have been performed to understand the structure in different geological settings to identify the efficiency determining factors. Therefore, it is important to investigate the geological suitability of the natural wetlands. We examined wastewater fed natural wetlands in diverse geological settings aiming at studying the depth, geo-stability, bio-chemical interactions, and hydrogeological attributes that improve the wastewater quality, within the Musi River basin, India. The integrated geophysical scans encompassing electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), hydrogeological test, bathymetric study and hydro-chemical analysis were carried out to explore the physical structure and hydro-dynamic processes in the wetlands. ERT investigations showed that, the depth to bedrock up to 20–25 m devoid of geo-fractures (lineaments) indicated the effective depth of saturated zone as a passable scope for potential bio-chemical interactions, implying the proportionality of the deep seated (deep bedrock) wetland to the pollutant removal efficiency. The lower order of electrical resistivity range 10–35 Om and hydraulic conductivity 2.938 md-1 acquired for saturated weathered zone were found catalyzing the bioremediation, sedimentation, adsorption, redox reactions and ion exchange processes. It caused the deep seated wetland removing nitrate 194.34 kgd-1 (97.18%); sulphate 333.75 kgd-1 (77.70%); phosphate 9.66 kgd-1 (82.53%); microbes 99.99%, BOD 80%, and COD 80% load with discharge 1408 m3d-1 of treated wastewater. Further, the strategies for designating the natural wetlands as wastewater treatment systems are also discussed in this paper.
The twentieth century has seen a dramatic increase in human uses of and human impacts on water resources, increasing competition over water as well as depleting or deteriorating its availability. Given its importance to human life and livelihoods, water is becoming one of the major foci of environmental research. The coincidence of water scarcity with poverty in many parts of the world makes it a focal point of international development efforts. With engineering thinking dominating over past decades, water management research has embraced more integrative approaches triggered by an increasing awareness of failures that focused on narrow single issues or technical solutions to address the complex challenges of sustainable water management. This chapter explores whether, when, and how more inclusive framings might enable more socially relevant and impactful research, and lead to more effective action. Discussion begins by establishing what a frame is and then de ning what is meant by an “inclusive frame” for interdisciplinary research on environmental problems. Seven frames in water research are examined; emphasis is given to how framings are driven by differences in normative and theoretical positions, which yields very different views on progress and how best to achieve it. Next, the use of more inclusive frames in academic or research contexts is explored using two examples which incorporate multiple normative and theoretical positions. Barriers encountered by academics and researchers, as they attempt to use inclusive frames, are then examined. To explore how inclusive frames can be used to address real-world problems, three cases highlight the possibilities and challenges in applying inclusive frames to research with the goal of informing action and practice.
Case studies / Wetlands / Ecosystem services / Human rights / Lakes / River basin management / Frames / Research / Farming systems / Diversification / Sustainability / Water footprint / Water management / Water resources / Integrated management Record No:H048931
Mateo-Sagasta, Javier; Albers, J. 2018. On-farm and off-farm responses. In Mateo-Sagasta, Javier; Zadeh, S. M.; Turral, H. (Eds.). More people, more food, worse water?: a global review of water pollution from agriculture. Rome, Italy: FAO; Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). pp.179-203. More... | Fulltext (692 KB)
Riparian zones / Constructed wetlands / Aquaculture / Pesticides / Grazing systems / Livestock farms / Nutrient management / Organic fertilizers / Resource recovery / Erosion control / Water management / Good agricultural practices / On-farm research / Water pollution Record No:H048864
Bernhardt, E. M.; Zandaryaa, S.; Arduino, G.; Jimenez-Cisneros, B.; Payne, J.; Zadeh, S. M.; McClain, M.; Irvine, K.; Acreman, M.; Cudennec, C.; Amerasinghe, Priyanie; Dickens, Chris; Cohen-Shacham, E.; Fedotova, T.; Cox, C.; Bertule, M.; Coates, D.; Connor, R.; Simmons, E.; Gastelumendi, J.; Gutierrez, T. 2018. NBS [Nature-based solutions] for managing water quality. In WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme); UN-Water. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2018: nature-based solutions for water. Paris, France: UNESCO. pp.52-62. More... | Fulltext (31.02 MB)
Infrastructure / Riparian zones / Land management / Wetlands / Socioeconomic environment / Agriculture / Environmental health / Ecosystem services / Sustainable development / Water conservation / Water pollution / Water quality / Water management / Natural resources Record No:H048853
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) program to improve the health, water quality and wildlife habitat within the Mississippi River Basin. Lake Conway Point Remove (LCPR) watershed was identified as one of the watersheds for the MRBI program implementation. The goal of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the MRBI program in LCPR watershed using a computer simulation model. Seven best management practices (BMPs) (pond, wetland, pond and wetland, cover crops, vegetative filter strips, grassed waterways and forage and biomass planting) were modelled under four placement strategies: random placement in 30% of the watershed, random placement in 30% hydrologic response units (HRUs) of the high priority hydrological unit code (HUCs), placement in the top 30% of the high priority HUCs, and top 30% of the HRUs in the HUCs near the outlet of the watershed. The model was calibrated for flow for the period 1987–2006 and validated for the period 2007–2012. Sediment and nutrients were validated from 2011 to 2012. Out of the BMPs evaluated, grassed waterways proved to be the most effective BMP in reducing sediment and nutrient loads from row crop (soy beans) and pasture fields. Reductions at the watershed outlet ranged 0–1% for flow, 0.28–14% for sediment, 0.3–10% for TP and 0.3–9% for TN. Relatively higher reductions were observed at the subwatershed level, flow reductions ranged 0–51%, sediment reductions -1 to 79%, TP -1 to 65% and TN -0.37 to 66% depending on BMP type, placement scenario, and watershed characteristics. The results from this study provide the data to help prioritize monitoring needs for collecting watershed response data in LCPR and BMP implementation evaluations, which could be used to inform decisions in similar studies.
Biomass production / Forage / Grassland management / Cover plants / Crop management / Simulation models / Land use / Soils / Wetlands / Ponds / Stream flow / Water quality / Development programmes / Best practices / Resource conservation / Watersheds Record No:H048717
This study presents a new global baseline of mangrove extent for 2010 and has been released as the first output of the Global Mangrove Watch (GMW) initiative. This is the first study to apply a globally consistent and automated method for mapping mangroves, identifying a global extent of 137,600 km 2 . The overall accuracy for mangrove extent was 94.0% with a 99% likelihood that the true value is between 93.6–94.5%, using 53,878 accuracy points across 20 sites distributed globally. Using the geographic regions of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Asia has the highest proportion of mangroves with 38.7% of the global total, while Latin America and the Caribbean have 20.3%, Africa has 20.0%, Oceania has 11.9%, North America has 8.4% and the European Overseas Territories have 0.7%. The methodology developed is primarily based on the classification of ALOS PALSAR and Landsat sensor data, where a habitat mask was first generated, within which the classification of mangrove was undertaken using the Extremely Randomized Trees classifier. This new globally consistent baseline will also form the basis of a mangrove monitoring system using JAXA JERS-1 SAR, ALOS PALSAR and ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 radar data to assess mangrove change from 1996 to the present. However, when using the product, users should note that a minimum mapping unit of 1 ha is recommended and that the error increases in regions of disturbance and where narrow strips or smaller fragmented areas of mangroves are present. Artefacts due to cloud cover and the Landsat-7 SLC-off error are also present in some areas, particularly regions of West Africa due to the lack of Landsat-5 data and persistence cloud cover. In the future, consideration will be given to the production of a new global baseline based on 10 m Sentinel-2 composites.
Environmental monitoring / Deltas / Coastal area / Human behaviour / Earth observation satellites / Satellite observation / Satellite imagery / Landsat / Mapping / Wetlands / Mangroves Record No:H049127
Case studies / Mapping / Mangroves / Coastal area / Mediterranean region / Lakes / Ecology / Surface water / Water quality / Sustainable Development Goals / Land use / Land cover / Surveys / Environmental monitoring / Environmental impact assessment / Wetlands / Earth observation satellites Record No:H049128
Karki, M.; Gasparatos, A.; Senaratna Sellamuttu, Sonali; Kohsaka, R.; Thaman, R.; Leimona, B.; Opgenoorth, L.; Han, K. H.; Magni, P.; Saito, O.; Talukdar, G.; Zadegan, S. S.; Pandit, R.; Hyakumura, K.; Isa, S. S.; Lasmana, F. 2018. Setting the scene. In Karki, M.; Senaratna Sellamuttu, Sonali [IWMI]; Okayasu, S.; Suzuki, W. (Eds.); 2018. The regional assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services for Asia and the Pacific. Bonn, Germany: Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). 616p. pp.1-64. More... | Fulltext (12.4 MB)
Coral reefs / Mangroves / Grasslands / Forest management / Wetlands / Land allocation / Landscape / Sustainable Development Goals / Local communities / Urbanization / Governance / Environmental policy / Assessment / Socioeconomic environment / Geographical distribution / Ecosystem services / Biodiversity conservation Record No:H049097
Gender / Energy generation / Food production / Wetlands / Fisheries / Mining / Industrial development / Irrigation systems / Irrigated farming / Urbanization / Agriculture / Ecosystem services / Sustainable agriculture / Rainfall-runoff relationships / Evapotranspiration / Temperature / Drought / Flooding / Climate change / Economic aspects / Groundwater management / Wastewater treatment / International waters / Surface water / Water requirements / Water demand / Water security / Water reuse / Water quality / Water power / Water availability / Water use / Water resources / River basin management Record No:H048269
McCartney, Mathew; Beilfuss, R.; Rebelo, Lisa-Maria. 2017. Zambezi river basin. In Finlayson, C. M.; Everard, M.; Irvine, K. McInnes, R.; Middleton, B.; van Dam, A.; Davidson, N. C. (Eds.). The Wetland book I: structure and function, management and methods. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp.1243-1250. More...
McCartney, Mathew; Rebelo, Lisa-Maria. 2017. Nile river basin. In Finlayson, C. M.; Everard, M.; Irvine, K. McInnes, R.; Middleton, B.; van Dam, A.; Davidson, N. C. (Eds.). The Wetland book I: structure and function, management and methods. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp.1243-1250. More...
Lakes / Spatial distribution / Rural communities / Fisheries / Agriculture / Ecosystem services / Living standards / Hydrology / Biodiversity / Wetlands / River basin management Record No:H048801
Clarke, James; McCartney, Mathew. 2017. International Water Management Institute. In Finlayson, C. M.; Everard, M.; Irvine, K. McInnes, R.; Middleton, B.; van Dam, A.; Davidson, N. C. (Eds.). The Wetland book I: structure and function, management and methods. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp.681-685. More...
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-pro t, scienti c research organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries. IWMI works in partnership with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop scalable agricultural water management solutions that have a real impact on poverty reduction, food security and ecosystem health. IWMI is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.
Capacity building / Irrigation systems / Wetlands / Health / Resource recovery / Governance / Gender / Ecosystem services / Sustainable agriculture / Developing countries / Land resources / Water availability / Water quality / Water management / Water resources / Poverty / Food security / Nongovernmental organizations / Research institutions / International organizations Record No:H048800
Wetlands can only be well managed if their spatial location and extent are accurately documented, which presents a problem as wetland type and morphology are highly variable. Current efforts to delineate wetland extent are varied, resulting in a host of inconsistent and incomparable inventories. This study, done in the Witbank Dam Catchment in Mpumalanga Province of South Africa, explores a remote-sensing technique to delineate wetland extent and assesses the seasonal variations of the inundated area. The objective was to monitor the spatio-temporal changes of wetlands over time through remote sensing and GIS for effective wetland management. Multispectral satellite images, together with a digital elevation model (DEM), were used to delineate wetland extent. The seasonal variations of the inundated area were assessed through an analysis of monthly water indices derived from the normalised difference water index (NDWI). Landsat images and DEM were used to delineate wetland extent and MODIS images were used to assess seasonal variation of the inundated area. A time-series trend analysis on the delineated wetlands shows a declining tendency from 2000 to 2015, which could worsen in the coming few years if no remedial action is taken. Wetland area declined by 19% in the study area over the period under review. An analysis of NDWI indices on the wetland area showed that wetland inundated area is highly variable, exhibiting an increasing variability over time. An overlay of wetland area on cultivated land showed that 21% of the wetland area is subjected to cultivation which is a major contributing factor to wetland degradation.
Catchment areas / Dam construction / Ecosystems / Sustainable development / Satellite imagery / Multispectral imagery / Spatial planning / GIS / Remote sensing / Flooding / Wetlands Record No:H048390
This paper presents a historical analysis of the different policy tools used to manage and regulate groundwater abstraction in the Western Mancha aquifer. Without much initial regulation and control, groundwater resources and aquifer levels decreased dramatically, threatening agriculture and also highly valuable groundwater-dependent wetland ecosystems. The interplay between sticks and carrots used in La Mancha shows the necessity for regulatory bodies to complement soft management approaches based on incentives with the threat of sanctions and limitations. However, as this case study shows, each policy modality has its legal, administrative and practical loopholes, which can be negotiated and exploited by groundwater users to their own advantage. The paper also studies the distribution of decision-making power and how local dynamics and individual behaviors are linked to higher level policies and their impacts on groundwater management, with an emphasis on the effectiveness and limitations of these tools.
Wells / Resource depletion / River basins / Regulations / Legal aspects / Incentives / Decision making / Socioeconomic development / Public participation / Agricultural policy / Environmental management / Water users / Water policy / Water rates / Water governance / Water rights / Water law / Ecosystems / Wetlands / Aquifers / Groundwater irrigation / Groundwater extraction / Groundwater management / Groundwater development Record No:H048364
Energy efficient wastewater treatment systems are the current environmental concerns which prompted for the applications of natural wetlands as efficient systems at urban areas. However, a detailed investigation is highly desired to determine the efficiency determining factors relevant to structure and functions of natural wetlands for enhanced wastewater treatment. In view of this the wastewater fed natural wetland is examined by hydro-geophysical means, to decipher i) the
effective depth of physico-chemical and microbial reactions, ii) the saturated zone thickness, and iii) hydrogeological attributes enhancing the wastewater quality at Hyderabad city, India. The wetland has been scanned using electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to decipher its physical structure, and hydrogeological and biogeochemical investigations are performed to understand the dynamics. The low electrical resistivity ( =10.5-34.0 O-m) and moderate hydraulic conductivity (K=2.938 m/d) acquired for saturated zone (10–15 m depth), are found the wastewater enhancing parameters in the wetlands. Geophysically derived laterally constrained inversion (LCI) models explore the maximum saturated zone of wetland up to 25 m as an effective depth for pollutant removal mechanisms. It implies the proportionality between depth to bed rock (confining layer) and wetland efficiency. Further, the bio-geochemical scanning determines the bioremediation, sedimentation, adsorption, redox reactions and ion exchange processes as wetland functions for removing nutrients (77-97%), BOD (78%), COD (76%), and microbes (99.5-99.9%) load with the discharge Q=1812 m3d-1 of treated wastewater. Further, the wetland efficiency integrated with engineered interventions help develop various NTS models with different application scenarios, that are i) constructed wetlands, ii) minimized community wetlands, and iii) single outlet system, suitable for urban, peri-urban and rural areas, respectively. The socio-economic assessment, and farmer-consumers and stakeholders survey suggest that to test and use of wetland systems implementation as a policy guideline under sustainable water management.
Geophysics / Tomography / Urban areas / Pollutants / Wastewater treatment / Wetlands / Natural resources Record No:H048334
McCartney, Matthew; Nyambe, I. A. 2017. Ecosystem services: opportunities and threats. In Lautze, Jonathan; Phiri, Z.; Smakhtin, Vladimir; Saruchera, D. (Eds.). 2017. The Zambezi River Basin: water and sustainable development. Oxon, UK: Routledge - Earthscan. pp.125-157. (Earthscan Series on Major River Basins of the World) More...
Population growth / Wetlands / Cultural factors / Fisheries / Wetlands / Water use / Water resources / Poverty / Living standards / Climate change / Economic development / Riparian zones / Farmers / Ecosystem services Record No:H048276
Kizito, F.; Balana, Bedru B. 2016. Ecosystem services in the Volta Basin. In Williams, Timothy O.; Mul, Marloes L.; Biney, C. A.; Smakhtin, Vladimir (Eds.). The Volta River Basin: water for food, economic growth and environment. Oxon, UK: Routledge - Earthscan. pp.181-198. More...
Case studies / Living standards / Economic aspects / Local community / Land cover change / Land use / Forestry / Fisheries / Livestock / Agricultural production / Coastal area / Vegetation / Water resources / Natural resources / Environmental protection / Dams / Wetlands / River basins / Freshwater / Ecosystem services Record No:H047732
By altering evapotranspiration and influencing how water is routed and stored in a basin, natural and agrarian ecosystems affect river flow. To quantify the impact of ecosystems on streamflow in two large river basins in Asia and Africa, simple statistical relationships were calculated, enabling flow characteristics to be ascertained from basic catchment features. This approach allows the impact of specified land-use change on streamflow to be determined. For example, it shows that extending paddy areas in the Mekong River Basin reduces downstream low flows, while conversion of forests to crops increases the magnitude of downstream floods in the Volta River Basin. The approach could assist river basin planners to better account for flow-related ecosystem services.
Runoff / Living standards / Impact assessment / Planning / Policy making / Paddy fields / Catchment areas / Downstream control / Stream flow / River basins / Wetlands / Soils / Water resources / Forest cover / Land use / Land cover / Models / Geography / Geomorphology / Floodplains / Temperature / Rain / Flow discharge / Ecosystems Record No:H047530
The foundation of rice production in the dry zone of Sri Lanka is a hydraulic civilization spanning at least 2,000 years, and based on constructed small irrigation tanks. Dotted across much of the dry zone, and often constituting cascades, the traditional management of these tanks for dry season irrigation water brought together sophisticated engineering skills, deep ecological knowledge and social organisation around the practical need for cooperation and spiritual belief systems. While these small tanks are often referred to with respect to their centrality to irrigating rice, the staple crop, the use of both natural and built elements in managing the tanks and their surrounding landscapes in fact constitute a remarkable multi-functional system that has provided a range of ecosystem services for human well-being. Despite its ancient roots, the ecological principles inherent in the traditional knowledge shaping this system resonate closely with modern concepts around natural resource management such as wise use, sustainability, social ecological systems and green infrastructure.
Natural resources management / Arid zones / Culture / Irrigation / Water management / Wetlands / Tanks / Small scale systems / Indigenous knowledge Record No:H048389
The need for enhanced environmental planning and management for highland aquatic resources is described and a rationale for integrated action planning is presented. Past action planning initiatives for biodiversity conservation and wetland management are reviewed. A re ective account is given of integrated action planning from ve sites in China, India and Vietnam. Eight planning phases are described encompassing: stakeholder assessment and partner selection; rapport building and agreement on collaboration; integrated biodiversity, ecosystem services, livelihoods and policy assessment; problem analysis and target setting; strategic planning; planning and organisation of activities; coordinated implementation and monitoring; evaluation and revised target setting. The scope and targeting of actions are evaluated using the Driving forces, Pressures, State, Impacts and Responses framework and compatibility with biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development objectives are assessed. Criteria to evaluate the quality of planning processes are proposed. Principles for integrated action planning elaborated here should enable stakeholders to formulate plans to reconcile biodiversity conservation with the wise use of wetlands.
McCartney, Matthew P.; Rebelo, Lisa-Maria; Senaratna Sellamuttu, Sonali. 2015. Wetlands, livelihoods and human health. In Finlayson, C. M.; Horwitz, P.; Weinstein, P. (Eds.). Wetlands and human health. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp.123-148. More...
In developing countries millions of people live a life of subsistence agriculture, mired in poverty, with limited access to basic human needs, such as food and water. Under such circumstances wetlands, through the provision of a range of direct and indirect ecosystem services, play a vital role in supporting and sustaining peoples’ livelihoods and hence, their health. This chapter discusses the role of wetlands in the context of the sustainable livelihoods framework in which wetlands are viewed as an asset for the rural poor in the form of “natural capital”. The framework is used to illustrate how ecosystem services, livelihoods and health are entwined and how the ecosystem services provided by wetlands can be converted to human health either directly or via other livelihood assets. It highlights the contributions that wetlands make to basic human needs and, either directly or through transformations to other forms of livelihood capital, the support they provide to livelihoods and overall well-being.
Institutions / Agriculture / Water supply / Social participation / Financing / Production possibilities / Floodplains / Risk reduction / Natural disasters / Natural resources / Poverty / Rural communities / Ecosystem services / Drugs / Public health / Living standards / Wetlands Record No:H047154
Households / Multiple use / Wetlands / Ecosystems / Farmers / Climate change / Living standards / Agriculture / Farming systems / Food production / Sustainable development / Water accounting / Water management / Water resources Record No:H047074
Le projet WISE UP to climate vise a demontrer lapos;utilite des infrastructures naturelles comme une solution basee sur la nature pour lapos;adaptation au changement climatique et le developpement durable. Dans le bassin de la Volta, les infrastructures naturelles, comme les construites, offrent des benefices pour la subsistance des personnes. Comprendre les interrelations entre ces deux types dapos;infrastructures est une condition indispensable a une gestion et un developpement durables des ressources en eau. Cela est particulierement vrai dans un contexte ou les pressions sur les ressources en eau sapos;intensifient, et ou les impacts du changement climatique augmentent. Ce rapport donne un apercu des caracteristiques biophysiques, des services ecosystemiques, et de leur relation avec les moyens de subsistance dans le bassin.
Economic aspects / Institutions / Riparian zones / Energy generation / Hydrology / Land use / Sedimentation / Soils / Geology / Industry / Fishing / Livestock / Strategies / Policy making / Dams / Lakes / Wetlands / Infrastructure / Natural resources / Ecosystem services / Water availability / Water power / Water demand / Water use / Water quality / Water governance / Water management / International waters / River basins / Environmental impact assessment / Water resources Record No:H047580
Kloppmann, W.; Sandhu, C.; Groeschke, M.; Pandian, R. S.; Picot-Colbeau, G.; Fahimuddin, M.; Ahmed, S.; Alazard, M.; Amerasinghe, Priyanie; Bhola, P.; Boisson, A.; Elango, L.; Feistel, U.; Fischer, S.; Ghosh, N. C.; Grischek, T.; Grutzmacher, G.; Hamann, E.; Nair, I. S.; Jampani, Mahesh; Mondal, N. C.; Monninkhoff, B.; Pettenati, M.; Rao, S.; Sarah, S.; Schneider, M.; Sklorz, S.; Thiery, D.; Zabel, A. 2015. Modelling of natural water treatment systems in India: Learning from the Saph Pani case studies. In Wintgens. T.; Nattorp, A.; Elango, L.; Asolekar, S. R. (Eds.). Natural water treatment systems for safe and sustainable water supply in the Indian context: Saph Pani, London, UK: IWA Publishing. pp. 227-250. More... | Fulltext (3.9 MB)
Case studies / Irrigation canals / Weathering / Geology / Salt water intrusion / Drinking water / Coastal area / Surface water / Watershed management / Groundwater management / Groundwater recharge / Aquifers / Water reuse / Water quality / Flow discharge / Wetlands / Filtration / Riverbank protection / Models / Wastewater irrigation / Wastewater treatment Record No:H047553
The ‘WISE-UP to climate’ project aims to demonstrate the value of natural infrastructure as a ‘nature-based solution’ for climate change adaptation and sustainable development. Within the Tana River Basin, both natural and built infrastructure provide livelihood benefits for people. Understanding the interrelationships between the two types of infrastructure is a prerequisite for sustainable water resources development and management. This is particularly true as pressures on water resources intensify and the impacts of climate change increase. This report provides an overview of the biophysical characteristics, ecosystem services and links to livelihoods within the basin.
Food security / Energy generation / Water power / Socioeconomic environment / Livestock production / Charcoal / Mining / Sand / Irrigation schemes / Dams / Eucalyptus / Forests / Wetlands / Groundwater recharge / Infrastructure / Natural resources / Sedimentation / Surface water / Flooding / Floodplains / Climate change / Soils / Biodiversity conservation / Coastal area / Rainfed farming / Small scale farming / Farmland / Living standards / Highlands / Pastoral lands / Land management / Land use / Land cover / River basins / Assessment / Ecosystem services Record No:H047535
Case studies / Living standards / Impact assessment / Sustainability / Land use / Water management / Water use / Irrigation water / Geology / Hydrology / Research / Wetlands / Ecology / Sociology / Agrarian structure / Farmers / Smallholders / Ecosystem services / Groundwater irrigation Record No:H046997
Coral reefs / Coastal area / Arid zones / Case studies / Malaria / Health hazards / Vermicomposting / Vegetable growing / Farmers / Fishing / Food production / Aquatic insects / Biofertilizers / Leachates / Denitrification / Noise pollution / Pollutant load / Toxic substances / Performance evaluation / Waste management / Bioremediation / Energy generation / Tanks / River basins / Aquifers / Watersheds / Solar radiation / Sand / Erosion / Soil salinity / Maps / Remote sensing / GIS / Satellite surveys / Models / Meteorology / Carbon / Constructed wetlands / Paddy fields / Land use / Water deficit / Groundwater pollution / Water quality / Freshwater / Wildlife / Biodiversity / Agroforestry / Rubber industry / Tea / Drug plants / Forest plantations / Environmental management Record No:H046899
Nicol, Alan; Langan, Simon; Victor, M.; Gonsalves, J. 2015. Water-smart agriculture in East Africa. : Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE); Kampala, Uganda: Global Water Initiative East Africa (GWI EA) 352p. [DOI] More... | Fulltext (8 MB)
Case studies / Collective action / Learning / Natural resources management / Gender / Dams / Smallholders / Incentives / Income / Wetlands / Catchment areas / Arid lands / Sustainable development / Erosion / Highlands / Participatory approaches / Soil conservation / Rehabilitation / Groundwater / Water storage / Water use / Water conservation / Water harvesting / Rain / Watershed management / Land management / Livestock production / Maize / Rice / Sorghum / Crops / Drought tolerance / Food security / Adaptation / Climate change / Vegetable growing / Drip irrigation / Irrigation schemes / Small scale farming / Water productivity / Agriculture Record No:H046950
Wetlands in India are under stress due to many natural and anthropogenic events. While the definition of a wetland can extend from small ponds/marshes to large reservoirs, a recent study estimates the wetland area to be 4.7% of country’s geographic area. Key drivers for wetland loss are urbanization and associated land-use changes, population growth and pollution. It is well known that functionally, they provide a variety of ecosystem services (ESS) for human wellbeing and inextricably linked to the hydrological cycle and therefore, the environment as a whole. Usually, wetland loss is assessed only after ground level observations, however, RS/GIS tools offers a way to assess the areas that are rapidly losing wetlands that can be regarded as “Hot spots”. This study was aimed at providing the evidence for wetland loss and showcase the important Ecosystem Services (ESS) they provide, so that planners can take appropriate steps to conserve and safeguard this natural resource.
Urban and peri-urban wetlands distribution was studied in two cities, namely, Kolkata, West Bengal, and Nagpur, Maharashtra. Supervised Image classification and Modified Normal Difference Water Index (MNDWI) were used to assess the changes in landscape and loss of wetland area respectively, during the period 2000 and 2013, covering an area of urban sprawl. A wetland inventory was prepared to the extent possible, from the satellite images available in the public domain. A checklist of ESS were prepared through a participatory process (wetland users and key informants) based on the TEEB’s approach to assessing ESS. A total of 27 ESS were selected, based on observations and surveys. Further, in each site, 4 wetlands were investigated to validate the ESS and wetland dependence by poor communities.
The satellite images enabled the visualization of wetlands of a size class of 0.36 ha and above. Change analysis for the city of Kolkata indicated an increased land area for built-up areas (6%) and waste/open lands (1%), calculated against the mapped area of 87,500 ha. Decreased coverage was observed for water bodies (3%), orchards and trees (5%), agriculture and shrub lands (10%). Development activities appeared to impact especially the water bodies. Based on wetland inventories and water density maps, 4 types of wetlands appeared to be prominent. These were tanks, aquaculture/paddy rice, riverine marsh/lagoons and treatment units, which covered a total area of 10,645 ha (year 2000). Tanks constituted 12% of the total area, while only 1.2% (127 ha) could be classified as natural. The rest of the area that included much of the EKW (East Kolkata Wetland) was influenced by anthropogenic activities over time. A 50% reduction (5930 ha) in the wetland area was attributed to the loss of aquaculture/paddy rice areas. Interestingly, the EKW area had increased marginally, perhaps due to the conservation efforts through the Ramsar program, although areas close to the city were constantly under threa
Water resources / Satellite imagery / Land use / Periurban areas / Urbanization / Wetlands / Ecosystem services Record No:H047414
The Incomati basin encompasses parts of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, and is a water stressed basin. Equitable allocation of water is crucial to sustain livelihoods and agro-ecosystems, and to sustain international agreements. As compliance monitoring of water distribution by flow meters is laborious, expensive and only partially feasible, a novel approach has been developed to estimate water withdrawals using satellite measurements. Direct withdrawals include pumping from rivers, impoundments and groundwater, for irrigation and other human uses. Indirect withdrawals include evaporation processes from groundwater storage, unconfined shallow aquifers, seepage zones, lakes and reservoirs, and inundations, in addition to evaporation from pristine land surface conditions. Indirect withdrawals intercept lateral flow of water and reduce downstream flow. An innovative approach has been developed that employs three main spatial data layers inferred from satellite measurements: land use, rainfall, and evaporation. The evaporation/rainfall ratio was computed for all natural land use classes and used to distinguish between evaporation from rainfall and incremental evaporation caused by water withdrawals. The remote sensing measurements were validated against measured evaporative flux, stream flow pumping volume, and stream flow reductions. Afforested areas in the whole basin was responsible for an indirect withdrawal of 1241 Mm3/yr during an average rainfall year while the tripartite agreement among the riparian countries specifies a permitted total withdrawal of 546 Mm3/yr. However, the irrigation sector is responsible for direct withdrawals of 555 Mm3/yr only while their allocated share is 1327 Mm3/yr – the long term total withdrawals are thus in line with the tripartite agreement. South Africa withdraws 1504 Mm3/yr while their share is 1261 Mm3/yr. The unmetered stream flow reduction from the afforested areas in South Africa represents the big uncertainty factor. The methodology described using remotely sensed measurements to estimate direct and indirect withdrawals has the potential to be applied more widely to water stressed basins having limited availability of field data.
Case studies / River basins / Water allocation / Irrigated farming / Irrigation water / Evaporation / Rain / Afforestation / Wetlands / Land use / Stream flow / Estimation / Mapping / Measurement / Satellite observation / Water use / Water resources Record No:H046891
When flowing through Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana, India, the Musi River picks up (partially) treated and untreated sewage from the city. Downstream of the city, farmers use this water for the irrigation of rice and vegetables. Treatment of the river water before it is used for irrigation would address the resulting risks for health and the environment. To keep the costs and operational efforts low for the farmers, the use of constructed wetlands is viewed as a suitable option. Towards this end, the paper investigates the interests and perceptions of government stakeholders and farmers on the treatment of wastewater for irrigation and further explores the consumer willingness to pay a higher price for cleaner produced vegetables. Full cost recovery from farmers and consumers cannot be expected, if mass scale treatment of irrigation water is implemented. Instead, both consumers and farmers would expect that the government supports treatment of irrigation water. Most stakeholders associated with the government weigh health and environment so high, that these criteria outweigh cost concerns. They also support the banning of irrigation with polluted water. However, fining farmers for using untreated river water would penalize them for pollution caused by others. Therefore public funding of irrigation water treatment is recommended.
Health hazards / Vegetables / Farmers / Wetlands / River basins / Policy / Financing / Stakeholders / Water pollution / Water reuse / Wastewater treatment / Irrigation water / Wastewater irrigation Record No:H046838
The ‘WISE-UP to climate’ project aims to demonstrate the value of natural infrastructure as a ‘nature-based solution’ for climate change adaptation and sustainable development. Within the Volta River Basin, both natural and built infrastructure provide livelihood benefits for people. Understanding the interrelationships between the two types of infrastructure is a prerequisite for sustainable water resources development and management. This is particularly true as pressures on water resources intensify and the impacts of climate change increase. This report provides an overview of the biophysical characteristics, ecosystem services and links to livelihoods within the basin.
Economic aspects / Institutions / Riparian zones / Energy generation / Hydrology / Land use / Sedimentation / Soils / Geology / Industry / Fishing / Livestock / Strategies / Policy making / Dams / Lakes / Wetlands / Infrastructure / Natural resources / Ecosystem services / Water availability / Water power / Water demand / Water use / Water quality / Water governance / Water management / International waters / River basins / Environmental impact assessment / Water resources Record No:H047413
Large-scale estimates of the area of terrestrial surface waters have greatly improved over time, in particular through the development of multi-satellite methodologies, but the generally coarse spatial resolution (tens of kms) of global observations is still inadequate for many ecological applications. The goal of this study is to introduce a new, globally applicable downscaling method and to demonstrate its applicability to derive fine resolution results from coarse global inundation estimates. The downscaling procedure predicts the location of surface water cover with an inundation probability map that was generated by bagged decision trees using globally available topographic and hydrographic information from the SRTM-derived HydroSHEDS database and trained on the wetland extent of the GLC2000 global land cover map. We applied the downscaling technique to the Global Inundation Extent from Multi-Satellites (GIEMS) dataset to produce a new high-resolution inundation map at a pixel size of 15 arc-seconds, termed GIEMS-D15. GIEMS-D15 represents three states of land surface inundation extents: mean annual minimum (total area, 6.5 × 106 km2 ), mean annual maximum (12.1 × 106 km2 ), and long-term maximum ( 17.3 × 106 km2 ); the latter depicts the largest surface water area of any global map to date. While the accuracy of GIEMS-D15 reflects distribution errors introduced by the downscaling process as well as errors from the original satellite estimates, overall accuracy is good yet spatially variable. A comparison against regional wetland cover maps generated by independent observations shows that the results adequately represent large floodplains and wetlands. GIEMS-D15 offers a higher resolution delineation of inundated areas than previously available for the assessment of global freshwater resources and the study of large floodplain and wetland ecosystems. The technique of applying inundation probabilities also allows for coupling with coarse-scale hydro-climatological model simulations.
Ecosystems / Wetlands / Models / Hydrology / Databases / Decision support systems / Topography / Surface water / Remote sensing / Satellite imagery / Land cover / Mapping / Floodplains / Flooding Record No:H047384
In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, various endeavors such as the inter-state agreements and Chesapeake 2000 agreement have been implemented to improve water quality and ecological conditions which have produced mixed results at best in various tributaries. In order to evaluate the management efforts on ecological conditions in the Rappahannock River watershed, we analyzed the long-term variability in land-use, nutrient content, and ecological biotic metrics. It appears that the interannual variability in nutrient loadings and concentrations are largely influenced by changes in urbanization and climate. Significant increases in urban development (35%) and population growth have exacerbated both point and non-point nutrient pollution in the Rappahannock River. Comparatively low N:P ratio in the tidal zone than the non-tidal zone may be due to salinity induced phosphorus leaching from sediments regulating the water quality along the river-estuary continuum. In addition, interannual variability in ecological biotic metrics demonstrates degrading ecological conditions in the Rappahannock River watershed, which are primarily due to increasing watershed urbanization driving high nutrient loadings and altered nutrient stoichiometry.
Land use / Urbanization / Chlorophylls / Nutrients / Ecosystems / Water quality / Rivers / Watersheds Record No:H046377
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; FAO; International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 2014. Wetlands and agriculture: partners for growth. : Gland, Switzerland: Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Rome, Italy: FAO; Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 16p. More... | Fulltext (2.19 MB)
Farmers / Irrigated farming / Food production / Water resources / Ecosystem services / Biodiversity / Aquaculture / Agricultural production / Agroecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H046396
The ‘silent revolution’ is a phenomenon describing the individualistic behaviour of farmers in the adoption of intensive groundwater abstraction technologies, which in some cases has led to groundwater over-abstraction and environmental degradation in semiarid areas such as La Mancha, Spain. However, a lacuna exists as to the extent to which state politics have affected the development of groundwater abstraction technologies in Spain. With new quantitative and qualitative data from the irrigation community of Manzanares and public irrigation and colonisation plans, this report studies the adoption of groundwater abstraction technology and investigates the historical role of the state in the development of modern groundwater-fed irrigation socio-ecologies in the semiarid area of La Mancha in Spain.
Case studies / Wetlands / Subsidies / Wells / Aquifers / Irrigation / Semiarid zones / Environmental degradation / Farmers / Boreholes / Groundwater development / Groundwater extraction Record No:H046369
Management and decision making for wetlands need an integrated approach, in which all ecosystem services are identified, their importance are assessed and objectives are formulated about their desired outputs. This approach has been applied successfully in European wetlands with sufficient scientific data. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the application of this approach in the context of a data-poor, multi-use African wetland. The Namatala wetland in Uganda, a wetland under intense pressure from wastewater discharge, conversion to agriculture and vegetation harvesting, was used as a case study. After characterisation of the wetland ecosystem and stakeholder analysis, three management options, subdivided into 13 sub-options, were identified for the wetland. These options were combined into six management solutions. A set of 15 indicators, subdivided into five categories (livelihood; human health; ecology; costs; risk of failure), were identified to assess the performance of these management solutions. Stakeholders’ preferences were taken into consideration by means of weights attached to the indicators, and a best-compromise solution was derived which consisted of a combination of sustainable agriculture in the upper Namatala wetland, papyrus buffer strips along the Namatala river channel, sustainable land use (vegetation harvesting, fishing) in lower Namatala wetland, and papyrus buffer zones at the waste-water discharge points. Despite differences of opinion among stakeholder groups about the relative importance of the indicators, the same compromise solution resulted for all stakeholders. It was concluded that this systematic approach and the stakeholder dialogue about the management options were beneficial to the management process, although the approach would benefit from more and better data about the wetland system and from model-derived predictions.
Case studies / Water quality / Wastewater treatment / Stakeholders / Land use / Ecology / Public health / Living standards / Vegetation / Sustainable agriculture / Ecosystem services / Decision support systems / Cyperus papyrus / Wetlands Record No:H046248
McCartney, Matthew; Finlayson, M.; de Silva, Sanjiv; Amerasinghe, Priyanie; Smakhtin, Vladimir. 2014. Sustainable development and ecosystem services. In van der Bliek, Julie; McCornick, Peter; Clarke, James (Eds.). On target for people and planet: setting and achieving water-related sustainable development goals. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). pp.29-32. More... | Fulltext (326 KB)
Reservoirs / Agriculture / Wetlands / Living standards / Ecosystem services / Socioeconomic development / Sustainable development Record No:H046798
This special issue of Environmental Science and Policy presents the outcomes of the WETwin project (enhancing the role of wetlands in integrated water resources management for twinned river basins in EU, Africa and South-America in support of EU Water Initiatives), an international research project funded by the FP7 programme of the European Commission. The project aimed to improve wetland management by maximising benefits from wetland use while maintaining ecological health, using case studies from Europe, Africa and South America.In much of the less developed world, data on wetland functions, processes and values are scarce even while wetlands often provide a critical component of livelihoods. Management decisions on balancing competing demands for wetland use must often be made in the absence of comprehensive information. This paper introduces the approach developed and tested under WETwin to evaluate wetland management structures and solutions in datapoor contexts, summarising a conceptual framework which has evolved from seven very diverse case studies. A structured, modular approach was devised which combined multi-criteria analysis, trade-off analysis and vulnerability analysis, drawing on best available information, including quantitative modelling, qualitative ‘‘expert opinion’’, and local stakeholders’ knowledge and values. The approach used in WETwin has three important strengths: it involves stakeholders at all stages of the decision process, it combines qualitative and quantitative data (and therefore allows inclusion of poorly known and potentially important system components) and finally, it provides a relatively simple and structured approach to evaluate wetland management interventions and integrate impact, feasibility and institutional assessments, vulnerability analysis and trade-off analysis. The overall conceptual framework developed for WETwin was found to be robust and transfer-able to different contexts.
European Union / Analytical methods / Indicators / Case studies / Public participation / Stakeholders / River basin management / Ecosystems / Wetlands / Research projects / Water management Record No:H046060
High population growth, increasing urbanization and rapid economic development are exerting pressure on the already scarce water resources in India. Treatment and reuse of wastewater can play an important role in addressing some of the urban water challenges. Conventional treatment plants have many challenges, therefore, natural treatment systems (NTSs) are viewed as a cost-effective alternative, which are more suitable in the Indian context. This study builds on a desktop study of NTSs and presents a rapid sustainability assessment of 12 NTSs, highlighting the potential and viability of NTSs in India. The results show that the NTSs have a high potential for wastewater treatment. However, there are still gaps in knowledge related to aspects that hinder the sustainability of the systems. Risks associated with reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture, operational problems and social acceptance were perceived as frequent challenges. Self-sustaining financing methods and the use of by-products were viewed as added benefits.
Land use / Corporate culture / Social aspects / Economic aspects / Environmental effects / Health hazards / Case studies / Ponds / Wetlands / Water quality / Wastewater treatment / Wastewater management Record No:H045938
By affecting evapotranspiration and influencing how water is routed and stored in a basin, forests, wetlands and floodplains play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle. Although they are widely attributed a major role in regulating flows (i.e., both attenuating floods and maintaining flow during dry periods), these services are rarely factored into the planning and management of water resources. One reason for the failure to include them is lack of understanding. Very often the extent to which natural regulating functions really occur is unclear. Against this background, this report describes a simple, pragmatic approach for quantifying the flow regulating functions of natural ecosystems. The method has been applied at 14 locations in the Zambezi River Basin.
Time series analysis / Evaporation / Hydrological cycle / Runoff / Rain / Floodplains / Wetlands / Woodlands / Vegetation / Forests / Flow control / Ecosystems / River basins Record No:H045844
This paper examines the impact of government sectoral expenditure on economic growth in Malawi. Using time series data from 1980 to 2007, cointegration analysis in the context of an error correction model was employed to estimate the growth effects of government expenditures in agriculture, education, health, defence, social protection and transport and communication. The short run results showed no significant relationship between government sectoral expenditure and economic growth. The long run results showed a significant positive effect on economic growth of expenditure on agriculture and defence. The expenditures on education, health, social protection and transportation and communication were negatively related to economic growth. To boost economic growth efficient management of resources allocated to all sectors should be emphasized.
Models / Energy / Communication / Transport / Social security / Defence / Health / Education / Agricultural sector / Expenditure / Government / Economic growth Record No:H045829
The conversion of wetlands to agriculture through drainage and flooding, and the burning of wetland areas for agriculture have important implications for greenhouse gas (GHG) production and changing carbon stocks. However, the estimation of net GHG changes from mitigation practices in agricultural wetlands is complex compared to dryland crops. Agricultural wetlands have more complicated carbon and nitrogen cycles with both above- and below-ground processes and export of carbon via vertical and horizontal movement of water through the wetland. This letter reviews current research methodologies in estimating greenhouse gas production and provides guidance on the provision of robust estimates of carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural wetlands through the use of low cost reliable and sustainable measurement, modelling and remote sensing applications. The guidance is highly applicable to, and aimed at, wetlands such as those in the tropics and sub-tropics, where complex research infrastructure may not exist, or agricultural wetlands located in remote regions, where frequent visits by monitoring scientists prove difficult. In conclusion, the proposed measurement-modelling approach provides guidance on an affordable solution for mitigation and for investigating the consequences of wetland agricultural practice on GHG production, ecological resilience and possible changes to agricultural yields, variety choice and farming practice.
Rain / Agricultural production / Environmental degradation / Climate change / Wetlands / Ecosystems / Reservoirs / Kidney diseases / Health hazards / Sanitation / Women / Gender / Poverty / River basins / Mapping / Flooding / Drought / Milk production / Water footprint / Water rights / Water pollution / Water quality / Groundwater resources / Water supply / Tank irrigation / Drinking water / Water resources / Water management Record No:H046157
Rain / Agricultural production / Environmental degradation / Climate change / Wetlands / Ecosystems / Reservoirs / Kidney diseases / Health hazards / Sanitation / Women / Gender / Poverty / River basins / Mapping / Flooding / Drought / Milk production / Water footprint / Water rights / Water pollution / Water quality / Groundwater resources / Water supply / Tank irrigation / Drinking water / Water resources / Water management Record No:H046156
This paper provides the synthesis of the special issue on the ‘‘role of wetlands in river basin management’’ and reviews lessons learnt from a comparative assessment of the presented case studies in Europe, Africa and Latin-America. Although wetlands are important for local communities and biodiversity, the services and products they deliver for local livelihoods and river basins are insufficiently known, and inadequately valued and understood by authorities. Wetlands are too often perceived as standalone elements and poorly integrated into river basin management plans. In this volume, an analytical framework is developed to formulate and compare wetland management options, also in data-poor contexts and to bridge the gap between science and policy. The framework is a set of tools and processes to structure the information flows needed to identify and score management options in terms of their impact, feasibility, vulnerability to future changes and trade-offs. In practice, it was found that the framework provided a useful set of tools to promote understanding and underpin negotiations. The major barrier for a better integration of wetlands in river basin management was found to be the lack of understanding of what the important issues were and the institutional capacity to organise cooperation and consequent implementation of the agreed plans. This paper presents the following conclusions. Firstly, rapid assessment tools and simplified scoring methods were used and proved useful in explaining issues across sectors and scales, and were important in creating mutual understanding, even though they did not necessarily present new insights for local or disciplinary experts. Secondly, in order to improve the knowledge base, an integrated database is developed, especially with regard to water quantity simulation at the river basin scale and wetland scale, potential habitat availability and the quantification of adaptive and institutional capacity, including the impact of future changes. Data has been compiled from various, scattered sources, including global data sets, sectoral wetland and/or river basin-specific quantitative and qualitative data sets. Thirdly, in case of limited data availability, rather than improving the accuracy of available quantitative data, it is proposed to better use alternative qualitative sources of data, from local experts, authority representatives and wetland users.
Case studies / Decision making / Stakeholders / Assessment / Ecosystem services / River basin management / Wetlands Record No:H046247
Is the total evaporation from a wetland surface (including: open water evaporation, plant transpiration and wet/dry soil evaporation) similar, lower, or higher than evaporation from an open water surface under the same climatic conditions? This question has been the subject of long debate; the literature does not show a consensus. In this paper we contribute to the discussion in two steps. First, we analyse the evaporation from a wetland with emergent vegetation (Ea) versus open water evaporation (Ew) by applying the Penman–Monteith equation to identical climate input data, but with different biophysical characteristics of each surface. Second, we assess the variability of measured Ea/Ew through a literature review of selected wetlands around the globe.We demonstrate that the ratio Ea/Ew is site-specific, and a function of the biophysical properties of the wetland surface, which can also undergo temporal variability depending on local hydro-climate conditions. Second, we demonstrate that the Penman–Monteith model provides a suitable basis to interpret Ea/Ew variations. This implies that the assumption of wetland evaporation to behave similar to open water bodies is not correct. This has significant implications for the total water consumption and water allocation to wetlands in river basin management.
Water balance / Climate change / Vegetation / Literature reviews / Evapotranspiration / Evaporation / Wetlands Record No:H045933
Ecosystem based approach (EBA) for resource management is a concerted, environmentally tuned and an integrated framework that holistically addresses the ecological character of the natural resource, its societal benefit spectrum and its environmental functions. In this paper, the EBA concept is closely linked with the emerging concept of multiple use systems (MUS) while taking account of environmental, economic, and social factors that govern the ecosystems services and benefits. We elucidate a multi-scalar approach and multiple case studies to understand EBA particularly in context of a wetlandscape. At the global scale, Ramsar sites of international importance are geospatially analyzed with reference to their agro-ecology and biodiversity. At regional scale, the agrarian use of inland wetlands in India was re-evaluated taking account of database from a recent inland wetland inventory. At the local scale, drawing on the landscape characterization and the ecological economics for fresh water Lake Kolleru in India and the Muthurajawela Marsh-Negombo Lagoon coastal marsh in Sri Lanka, we illustrate some of the practical challenges in balancing wetland conservation, development needs and the overall well-being of local people. We also discuss how variability in the scale, geophysical characteristics of the site and the data availability confines the ability to simplify a single complete approach to address issues in complex ecosystem such as wetlands. All levels of the study are supported by a variety of earth observation data and the geographical information system (GIS) tools. The site level analysis also draws on socio-economic assessment tools.
Social aspects / Remote sensing / GIS / Agroecology / Multiple use / Landscape / Wetlands / Ecosystems Record No:H044044
The two components of the study reflect assessment and change analysis of a tropical wetland in Sri Lanka. The first section explains spatial classification using pixel level-disaggregated image analysis and refined aggregated image analysis and comparison of information extracted by all methods to analyse a better classifier. The second section illustrates change analysis calibrating the land change modeller (LCM) [IDRISI-Andes]. Key observations: a) visual interpretation provides comprehensive blueprint of the wetlandscape compared to supervised and unsupervised classifiers b) change in landscape pattern reflect substantial transition in wetland use. Validation using field coordinates and socioeconomic data showed kappa value (%) of 87.
Vegetation / Socioeconomic environment / Land cover / Land use / Data analysis / Analytical methods / Rain / Lagoons / Marshes / Tropical zones / Coastal area / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H044959
This paper provides an overview of poverty levels, hydrology, agricultural production systems and water productivity in the Nile Basin. There are opportunities to manage water better in the basin for use in agriculture to improve food security, livelihoods and economic growth by taking into account not only the water in the river, but also by improving management of the rain water. Crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture have long been important in the Nile but do not feature in the water discourse.
Irrigation / Ecosystems / Highlands / Flow discharge / Fisheries / Livestock / Crop production / Economic growth / Food security / Wetlands / Lakes / Water accounting / Water productivity / Water availability / Poverty / Living conditions / Social aspects / Agricultural production / Rain water management / Water management / River basins Record No:H044843
Located on the Bahr el Jebel in South Sudan, the Sudd is one of the largest floodplain wetlands in the world. Seasonal nundation drives thehydrologic, geomorphological, and ecological processes, and the annual flood pulse is essential to the functioning of the Sudd. Despite the importance of the flood pulse, various hydrological interventions are planned upstream of the Sudd to increase economic benefits and food security. These will not be without consequences, in particular for wetlands where the biological productivity, biodiversity, and human livelihoods are dependent on the flood pulse and both the costs and benefits need to be carefully evaluated. Many African countries still lack regional baseline information on the temporal extent, distribution, and characteristics of wetlands, making it hard to assess the consequences of development interventions. Because of political instability in Sudan and the inaccessible nature of the Sudd, recent measurements of flooding and seasonal dynamics are inadequate. Analyses of multitemporal and multisensor remote sensing datasets are presented in this paper, in order to investigate and characterize flood pulsing within the Sudd wetland over a 12-month period. Wetland area has been mapped along with dominant components of open water and flooded vegetation at five time periods over a single year. The total area of flooding (both rain and river fed) over the 12 months was 41 334 km2, with 9176 km2 of this constituting the permanent wetland. Mean annual total evaporation is shown to be higher and with narrower distribution of values from areas of open water (1718 mm) than from flooded vegetation (1641 mm). Although the exact figures require validation against ground-based measurements, the results highlight the relative differences in inundation patterns and evaporation across the Sudd.
Wetlands and forests have strong effects on hydrological processes by changing the rate of evaporation, transpiration, and flow routing in a basin, which affects basin water management such as dam operations. This study aims to assess the flow regulating functions of wetlands and forests using a flow duration curve (FDC) approach. We firstly identify wetlands and forests which are gauged both upstream and downstream. Reference conditions were then established using nearby sub-watersheds that contain few/no wetlands/forests. By transferring reference flows to the target sites and comparing the FDCs for with and without wetland/forest conditions we then assess the hydrological impacts on flood attenuation and base flow maintenance. Results of a floodplain wetland suggest that it decrease flood flows and increase low flows. The extent of this function could be quantified which gives useful indications for water resources planning and management.
Time series analysis / Land cover / Flooding / Downstream / Upstream / Hydrological factors / Forests / Wetlands / River basins / Flow regulation / Flow discharge / Ecosystems / Water management Record No:H045717
Effective implementation of participatory environmental governance faces a number of challenges, including the need for appropriate mechanisms and incentive systems that can operate across multiple-use landscapes. This study demonstrated scenarios for such governance from three agro-ecological zones in different geographical, biophysical and socio-cultural settings: (i) Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary in the temperate forests of the Central Himalayas, (ii) Kolleru Lake, a freshwater lake in the Krishna Basin and (iii) the downstream Ganges seasonal floodplains in Bangladesh. The cross-disciplinary set of approaches in these examples involves the use of spatial tools and socioeconomic surveys to build a scenario-based framework with cross-scaling prospects. The comparative analysis between these sites is significant in the context of providing guidance for trans-boundary environmental governance and the underlying challenges that occur in politically complex and common property resource institutional arrangements. Meeting these challenges will assist in the efforts, locally and nationally, to make wise use of all wetlands, as required under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary symbolizes a case of increasing anthropogenic pressure, limited livelihood options and with gaps in the governance structure. Kolleru Lake represents a case of inadequate understanding of the ecological dimensions of livelihood interventions and the consequential community conflict. The case of floodplains in Bangladesh illustrates the potential of collective action, supported by appropriate institutional arrangements, for improving rice-fish productivity. The case studies support the argument that monitoring and assessment of the resource structure and its dynamics, with the application of geospatial tools, adds value when shaping a framework for policy debate and for ensuring the wise use of wetlands.
Case studies / Models / Sedimentation / Evaporation / Erosion / Environmental effects / Dams / Climate change / Water power / Livestock / Farming systems / Food security / Poverty / Living standards / Agricultural production / Land management / Irrigation development / Hydrology / Aquifers / Water policy / Institutions / Water conservation / Water balance / Water availability / Wetlands / Water productivity / Water governance / Watersheds / Groundwater management / Water resources development / Water management / History / River basins Record No:H045307
Case studies / Models / Sedimentation / Evaporation / Erosion / Environmental effects / Dams / Climate change / Water power / Livestock / Farming systems / Food security / Poverty / Living standards / Agricultural production / Land management / Irrigation development / Hydrology / Aquifers / Water policy / Institutions / Water conservation / Water balance / Water availability / Wetlands / Water productivity / Water governance / Watersheds / Groundwater management / Water resources development / Water management / History / River basins Record No:H045306
High population growth, increasing urbanization and rapid economic development are exerting pressure on the already scarce water resources in India. Untreated wastewater from human settlements reaching natural waterways is very common contributing to environmental pollution, which directly affects the availability of fresh water for human consumption. Therefore, treatment and reuse of wastewater can play an important role in addressing some of the urban water challenges in India. Conventional treatment plants have many challenges, therefore, natural treatment systems are viewed as a cost-effective alternative, which are more suitable in the Indian context. For example, they are not reliant on electricity, easier to maintain, can be part of small decentralised systems and work well in tropical climates. This study presents a rapid sustainability assessment and a review of the potential of natural treatment systems in India. The preliminary results show that the natural treatment systems have a high potential for wastewater treatment. However, there are still gaps in knowledge related to aspects that hinder the sustainable functioning of these treatment systems.
Case studies / Health hazards / Social aspects / Environmental effects / Wetlands / Ponds / Lemna / Water use / Water management / Technology / Wastewater treatment Record No:H045469
Wetlands are a key livelihood resource in southern Africa. Historically they have been managed using local knowledge systems, but these systems have in many instances been undermined by colonial and postcolonial legal requirements. The IUCN’s Ramsar initiative, supported by organisations such as BirdLife International and the WWF, seeks to protect wetland resources. This qualitative study examined the political ecology of the Kapukupuku and Waya areas of the Lukanga wetlands in Zambia, designated a Ramsar site. This designation has given rise to competing ‘narratives’ by politicians and local community leaders over how Lukanga should be managed and used, and the resulting conflict is threatening its sustainability. The paper warns that the various parties’ arguments are value-laden and that power asymmetry threatens to exclude poor local communities. Policy must take power interests into account to ensure that developments in the name of the poor really do benefit the poor.
Wildlife / Biodiversity / Fisheries / Investment / Ecology / Political aspects / GIS / Households / Living conditions / Poverty / Wetlands Record No:H045436
Living standards / Social aspects / Case studies / Fisheries / Agricultural production / Water resources / Deltas / Marshes / Ecosystems / Wetlands / River basins Record No:H045318
Conniff, Karen; Molden, David; Peden D.; Awulachew, Seleshi Bekele. 2012. Nile water and agriculture: past present and future. In Awulachew, Seleshi Bekele; Smakhtin, Vladimir; Molden, David; Peden D. (Eds.). The Nile River Basin: water, agriculture, governance and livelihoods. Abingdon, UK: Routledge - Earthscan. pp.5-29. More... | Fulltext (1.99MB)
Power generation / Poverty / Environmental effects / Dams / Lakes / Wetlands / Irrigated farming / History / International cooperation / Water resources / International waters / River basins Record No:H045309
Wetlands are too often perceived as standalone elements and are poorly integrated into river basin management. The Ramsar Convention recognizes the critical linkage between wetlands, water and river basin management; the governments that are party to the Convention have committed to conserving their wetlands within a framework of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The “Critical Path” approach and related guidance have been adopted by Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention in order to effectively integrate wetland conservation and management into river basin management planning and decision-making. However, despite international acceptance of the approach, it is not widely implemented. This paper provides one of the first case study based assessments of the Critical Path approach. The analysis of two contrasting Ramsar sites is presented in order to better understand the barriers to implementation in different development contexts. These are the Lobau wetland in Austria, where management institutions and regulatory frameworks are highly developed; and the Inner Niger Delta in Mali, where the capacity to implement IWRM is less evolved. A planning approach is proposed which involves structured and transparent methods for assessing ecosystem services and institutional capacity, and is suitable as a tool for identifying, prioritizing and negotiating trade-offs in ecosystem services and improving livelihoods. Based on the analysis, two main barriers to implementation are identified; mismatch between local and national or basin level priorities, and a lack of recognition of the ecosystem services provided by wetlands.
Legal aspects / Institutions / River basin management / Ecosystems / Floodplains / Deltas / Water management / Wetlands Record No:H045586
Wetlands of International Importance, as listed by the Ramsar Convention, can provide valuable opportunities to conserve otter species worldwide. Adopted in 1971, the Convention originally focused on protecting habitats for waterfowl. Since then the convention has broadened its scope to cover all aspects of wetland conservation and wise use, recognizing wetlands as ecosystems that are extremely important for biodiversity and for the well-being of human communities. By the end of 2011, there were 1,971 wetland sites designated globally covering over 191 million ha. As an intergovernmental treaty the Ramsar Convention provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Under Ramsar, wetlands are broadly defined, encompassing the wide range of habitats on which all 13 species of otters depend. Lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, mangroves, and estuaries are included as listed sites. Many sites consist of a mixture of wetland types, and some include significant human activities, such as fishing, agriculture, and ecotourism. Of obvious interest is IUCN’s commitment to conserving biodiversity, through efforts such as maintaining the Red List of Threatened Species, where selected otter species are listed. Here, we show with maps the number of Ramsar sites located within the range distributions of each otter species. Yet, more can be done to promote awareness of otters’ reliance on wetland habitats with high ecological integrity. A stronger alliance between IUCN’s Otter Specialist Group and the Ramsar Convention should be forged to enhance existing efforts to conserve this flagship species and its habitats.
International cooperation / Maps / Otters / Species / Fershwater / Biodiversity / Ecosystems / Coastal area / Wetlands Record No:H044956
It is well known that whilst wetlands deliver a wide range of services vital for human well-being, they are being rapidly degraded and lost. Losses tend to be higher where human populations are increasing most and demands for economic development are greatest. Multidisciplinary management approaches that integrate conservation and development objectives in wetlands are therefore urgently requested for by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. This paper describes the evaluation of 10 wetland management case studies from Asia, Africa and South America that adopted such an integrated approach. The evaluation assessed the outcomes of these integrated initiatives to identify conditions and processes for linking conservation and poverty reduction objectives in wetlands. The findings are also compared with other assessments of integrated approaches, particularly in terms of their effectiveness in optimizing conservation and poverty reduction outcomes. The results from our studies suggest an ongoing evolution of such integrated interventions, which also implies cycles of learning from past mistakes. Overall, our results highlight the significant variation between wetlands in types and quantities of services they provide and emphasize the need to view many ecological issues as social challenges for equitable solutions to both wetlands and people. The analysis further shows that the positive on-ground results owe much to the interdisciplinary problem analysis, whereby interventions can move from treating symptoms to addressing root causes. While no blueprint emerged on how to successfully integrate conservation and poverty reduction in wetlands, important lessons for future interventions were drawn.
Case studies / Development projects / Ecosystems / Poverty / Wetlands Record No:H043848
Legal rights / Access to information / Mangroves / Lagoons / Wetlands / Case studies / Government departments / Institutions / Decision making / Public participation / Participatory management / Rules / Accountability / Transparency / Legislation / Coastal area Record No:H044787
Legal rights / Access to information / Mangroves / Lagoons / Wetlands / Case studies / Government departments / Institutions / Decision making / Public participation / Participatory management / Rules / Accountability / Transparency / Legislation / Coastal area Record No:H044786
Wetlands, which occupy a considerable proportion of Malawi, are an important resource for the rural-poor. In regions of low and erratic rainfall, they provide important opportunities for agriculture and fisheries and are often vital for food security. However, overutilization and some farming practices can result in environmental degradation and the loss of valuable ecosystem services. The Lake Chilwa wetland, a complex aquatic ecosystem comprising a shallow open water lake surrounded by marsh and floodplain grassland, is one of the most important wetlands in Malawi. Most of the 1 million people who live in the vicinity of the lake derive their livelihoods from the wetland. Increases in population in recent decades have increased the pressures on the wetland. In light of continued population growth, it is anticipated that some levels of resource use may be difficult to sustain in the long-term. Consequently, planning the use of wetland resources is a priority if the diverse benefits that local communities presently receive are to be sustained. Baseline wetland information is needed to determine appropriate sustainable management plans, as well as to identify limits to resilience. However, for many wetlands in southern and eastern Africa, these data are lacking, or not available to those who need them. This paper provides an overview of the distribution and characteristics of wetlands in Malawi. Using Lake Chilwa as an example, it illustrates how Earth Observation data, in combination with hydrometric and botanical data, can be used to provide information crucial for sustainable wetland management.
Fisheries / Vegetation / Hydrology / Ecology / Land use / Lakes / Wetlands Record No:H043687
The GaMampa wetland, a palustrine wetland, comprises less than 1% of the catchment but is widely believed to make a significant contribution to dry-season river flow in the Mohlapitsi River, a tributary of the Olifants River, in South Africa. The contribution of the GaMampa wetland to dry-season flow in the Mohlapitsi River and the impact of increasing agriculture on its hydrological functioning were investigated. Economic analyses showed that the net financial value of the wetland was US$ 83,263 of which agriculture comprises 38%. Hydrological analyses indicated that the Mohlapitsi River contributes, on average, 16% of the dry-season flow in the Olifants River. However, the wetland contributes, at most, 12% to the increase in dry-season flow observed over the reach of the river in which the wetland is located. The remainder of the increase originates from groundwater flowing through the wetland. Furthermore, despite the conversion of 50% of the wetland to agriculture since 2001, there has been no statistically significant reduction in dry-season flow in the Mohlapitsi River. These results highlight the importance of understanding the nature of the full suite of services being provided by a wetland in order to make informed decisions for appropriate management.
Land cover / Economic analysis / Economic aspects / Dry season / Flow / Ecosystems / Hydrology / Wetlands Record No:H044592
The Muthurajawela-Negombo wetland system in Sri Lanka provides critical ecosystem services for local people. The wetland has, however, undergone considerable ecological change over the past few decades. A multi-scale, inter-disciplinary approach that combined geospatial analyses with livelihoods analyses was used to assess environmental change in the wetland and the impact of this change on local livelihoods. While a geospatial model was used to determine broad changes in land use patterns in the wetland, an in-depth case study covering one village was conducted, using local perceptions to explore the inter-linkages between environmental change and livelihood systems at the household level. The findings of this study suggest that there have been significant changes in the wetland cover/use patterns during the period under investigation and that these changes have been observed and experienced by local communities. There are differences in local perceptions on whether these changes are for the better or worse. This may be linked to whether the land cover types are directly accessed and used in the household livelihood system, and to the geographic location of the land cover types in relation to the village. The findings indicate the usefulness of adopting this type of approach where both conservation and development needs are considered to address environmental concerns and related livelihood issues in wetlands.
GIS / Senses / Models / Economic aspects / Social aspects / Environmental effects / Marshes / Ecosystems / Wetlands / Natural resources / Coastal area / Land use / Land cover Record No:H044636
The wise use of wetlands is expected to contribute to ecological integrity, as well as to secure livelihoods, especially of communities dependent on their ecosystem services for sustenance. This paper provides a conceptual framework capable of examining the goals of wetland management, poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods. The framework highlights ecological character as a social construct and, with the notion of wetlands as settings for human well-being, builds a concept for assessing the inter-linkages between ecosystem services and livelihoods.The value and broader applicability of our framework is then tested by applying it to a case study from India (Lake Chilika) to evaluate the degree to which the mutual goals of improving both human well-being and the ecological character of wetlands have been achieved. The case study maps changes in human well-being induced in the basin communities due to external vulnerability contexts, institutions and freedoms. It further assesses the response strategies in terms of their impacts on ecological character and poverty status.
Economic aspects / Social aspects / Lakes / Institutions / Case studies / Poverty / Biodiversity / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H044624
By affecting transpiration and evaporation and influencing how water is routed and stored in a basin, forests, wetlands and floodplains play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle. Although they are widely attributed a major role in regulating flows (i.e. both attenuating floods and maintaining flow during dry periods) these services are seldom, if ever, explicitly factored into the planning and management of water resources. One reason for the failure to include them is lack of understanding of the hydrological functions occurring, their dynamic nature, and the interaction of those functions with the catchments in which the ecosystems are located. Very often it is unclear exactly which functions are performed and how those functions change over time (i.e. between seasons and between years). Furthermore, both the lack of quantitative information and a recognized method to incorporate them into decision-making processes, make it very difficult to integrate natural hydrological functions into the planning and management of water resources. This report describes a pragmatic approach for quantifying the flow regulating functions of floodplains, headwater wetlands and forests in the Zambezi Basin. The method utilizes observed stream flow records and flow duration curves to derive a simulated time series of flow in the absence of the ecosystem. This can then be compared with an observed time series to evaluate the impact of the ecosystem on the flow regime. The method, which is easy to utilize and could easily be incorporated into a decision support system for the synchronization of dam operation, has been applied and results obtained for 16 locations in the basin. Results indicate that the different ecosystems affect flows in different and complex ways. Broadly: i) floodplains decrease flood flows and increase low flows; ii) headwater wetlands increase flood flows and decrease low flows; iii) miombo forest, when covering more than 70% of the catchment, decreases flood flows and decreases low flows. However, in all cases there are examples which produce contrary results and simple relationships between the extent of an ecosystem type within a catchment and the impact on the flow regime were not found.
Catchment areas / Maps / Time series analysis / Hydrology / Swamps / Wetlands / Floodplains / forests / Regulation / Flow / Ecosystems / River basins Record No:H044606
Water infrastructure is a cornerstone of economic development. In the Zambezi River Basin huge investments have been made in dams for hydropower, irrigation, water supply and flood control. Ecosystem functions are central to outcomes from dams. Not only does the performance of dams depend on ecosystem functions but dams also modify them (e.g. by changing natural flow regimes). It is by changing ecosystem functions (and hence ecosystem services) that dams often have their greatest impact on the livelihoods of poor people. However, investment decisions and, subsequently the management of dams, rarely consider ecosystem functions. Trade-offs and synergies between dams and ecosystem functions often go unrecognized and, as a result, the benefits accruing from dams are typically sub-optimal. One reason for the failure to consider ecosystem functions is lack of understanding of them and how they translate into services for people. It is not clear which ecosystems perform which functions or how they will be affected by a dam. For example, whilst it is widely understood that in relation to hydrology, different ecosystems provide different regulating functions, there is little quantitative information on the extent to which they do this or the dynamic nature of such functions. If ecosystem functions, and specifically flow regulating functions, are to be considered in dam planning and management more information and a method to incorporate them into decision-making processes is required. Based on a literature review this report summarizes i) evidence of the flow regulating functions of the major ecosystems in the Zambezi basin and ii) methods for evaluating ecosystem flow regulating functions. Finally, it proposes an approach for developing a method that could contribute to a decision support system for the synchronization of dam operation in the basin.
Analytical methods / Runoff / Land use / Forests / Floodplains / Water power / Dams / River basins / Hydrology / Flow control / Wetlands / Ecosystems Record No:H044667
Inland wetlands occur extensively across Sub-Saharan Africa. These ecosystems typically play a vital role in supporting rural populations and their sustainable management is thus critical. In order to prevent depletion of resources and ecosystem services provided by these wetlands, a balance is required between ecological and socio-economic factors. The sustainable management of wetlands requires information describing these ecosystems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. However, many southern and eastern African countries lack regional baseline information on the temporal extent, distribution and characteristics of wetlands. PALSAR data provides invaluable information related to the flooding patterns and vegetation characteristics of these wetlands, and is being used to document and characterise specific sites within the region which have been identified due to their vulnerability to both climatic variability and agricultural activities. The information derived from the PALSAR data is needed to assist managers in making decisions about future land uses in wetlands that are intensively used for agriculture and fisheries, and which are an important natural resource for local communities.
Regular monitoring of wetlands is an essential element of management for apos;wise useapos;. Indeed, the Ramsar convention requires routine monitoring in order to detect changes in the ecological character at listed sites. However, there are few examples of monitoring of tropical wetlands on a sustained basis in the world. In the present study, we quantified land use/land cover changes in the lone Ramsar site, the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary of Andhra Pradesh, India between 1977 and 2007 using remote sensing and GIS techniques. It was found that there was a significant increase in aquaculture farming (158.5 sq km) from 1977 to 2000, which put the habitat of flora and fauna in adverse conditions. The natural function of lake was being restored after the demolition of fishponds ordered by the Honorable Supreme Court of India it 2006. This study highlights the firsthand information to the user community after demolition, and offers suggestions for the future conservation of the lake. We suggest that remote sensing and GIS tools have a significant role in meeting the reported requirements for the CBD 2010 target.
Case studies / Land use / Land cover / Aquaculture / GIS / Remote sensing / Monitoring / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H042991
This is the second volume of the proceedings of the National Conference on ‘Water for Food and Environment’, which was held from June 9 –11, 2009 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). The volumes 1 and 3 have been produced as separate documents of this report series. In response to a call for abstracts, 81 abstracts were received from government institutes dealing with water resources and agriculture development, universities, other freelance researchers and researchers from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Forty seven of the eighty-one abstracts that were submitted were accepted for compiling full papers.; In the past couple of years the sharp increase in food prices worldwide has raised serious concerns about food security, especially in developing countries. To effectively address these concerns a holistic approach is required that encompasses improved agricultural water productivity, adaptation to climate change, targeted and appropriate institutional and financial measures, and a consideration of environmental issues. The main purpose of the conference was to share experiences in these areas and to find opportunities to improve farmers’ incomes and food production, and to promote environmentally sustainable practices in Sri Lanka in the face of growing water scarcity and the challenges of climate change.
Food security / Rice / Wastewater irrigation / Climate change / Rainfed farming / Domestic water / Aquifers / Groundwater / Models / Farming systems / Rivers / Case studies / Water allocation / Assessment / Environmental flows / Wetlands Record No:H042852
Wetlands are habitats with temporary or permanent accumulation of water. The degradation and loss of wetlands is more rapid than that for other ecosystems, and wetland-dependent biodiversity in many parts of the world is in continuing and accelerating decline. They have been confirmed to deliver a wide range of critical and important services vital for human well-being. Therefore, it is clear that sound wetland management is now expected to not only consider conserving the ecological integrity of the ecosystem but also to pay specific attention to the well-being of local people, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation. Wetlands, both fresh and marine, have a multitude of benefits, in addition to environmental benefits, such as for agriculture, flood control, water purification, fisheries and recreation. For the maintenance and sustainability of wetlands the crucial requirement is water – a resource that has multiple demands and competition. The main competitor for the water resource around the world is agriculture for food production, a basic requirement for human survival. Therefore, in a situation of wetlands versus food production, the balance tips towards food production without considering the adverse consequences to the wetlands or adequately appreciating the benefits from achieving a balance. This is where Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) should be adopted to facilitate this process and enable wetland management and agricultural management to fit into the picture along with the other multiple uses of water. Integrated Water Resource Management should be of considerable interest for Sri Lanka, being a country which has agriculture very high on the agenda. The country is also home to a range of wetlands including 103 distinct river basins and 42 lagoons, which support a multitude of functions and services to people. The relationship between agriculture and wetlands in Sri Lanka is complex. The proliferation of village level water storage structures (small tanks) has created an unusually large number of man-made wetland habitats that add significantly to the natural wetlands that are concentrated mainly in the coastal belt. The absence of an integrated approach to water resource development however, continues to erode natural wetland systems. Two major problems, which concern downstream fisheries and livelihoods, are high levels of agricultural pollution, especially through the excessive use of fertilizers, and modifications to the hydrology. The objective of this paper is to review the work of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on wetlands and agriculture in Sri Lanka, to look at the competing water demands between water for wetlands and water required for agriculture, keeping in mind the requirements for nature as well as the sustainability of livelihoods. The paper will address some impacts of agriculture on wetlands, the consequences for livelihoods and the benefits of adopting the IWRM approach, building a
Social aspects / Water resource management / Fisheries / Lagoons / Habitats / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H042855
Evans, Alexandra. 2010. An overview: water quality, environment and climate change. In Evans, Alexandra; Jinapala, K. (Eds). Proceedings of the National Conference on Water, Food Security and Climate Change in Sri Lanka, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 9-11 June 2009. Vol. 2. Water quality, environment and climate change. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). pp.vii-xi More... | Fulltext
Water quality / Environmental flows / Wetlands / Adaptation / Climate change Record No:H042853
This report synthesizes findings from the CPWF project number 71 titled “Commune Agroecosystem Analysis to Support Decision Making for Water Allocation for Fisheries and Agriculture in the Tonle Sap Wetland System.”
The Project on Commune Agroecosystem Analysis to Support Decision Making for Water Allocation for Fisheries and Agriculture in the Tonle Sap Wetland System was undertaken with the aim of improving fisheries considerations in the Commune Agroecosystem Analysis (CAEA) process undertaken in Cambodia, to facilitate better planning at the commune level. Under this project a number of changes were made to the CAEA tools and process and pilot tested in an adaptive, iterative manner in four communes – two that had conducted a CAEA previously and two that had not. Results and analyses indicated that the project had significantly strengthened the manner in which livelihoods, water resources and fisheries are now addressed by CAEA. The revised CAEA guidance manual has also shown potential for having wider uptake, and a number of tools have been used by several other projects within Cambodia.
Gender / Community involvement / Development projects / Wetlands / Decision making / Water allocation / Analysis / Fisheries / Agroecosystems Record No:H043638
This book provides a baseline understanding of how people and wetlands are connected, why these linkages are vital and how they can be better managed. It calls for action to integrate wetland management and WASH approaches, so as to benefit the health and development of people in rural and peri-urban areas in developing countries without compromising ecosystem functioning. It has been written predominantly for the core staff, planners and coordinators of international organisations and their implementing partners dealing with either wetlands conservation and management or WASH provision.
Wastewater treatment / Governance / Ecosystems / Water resource management / Diseases / Public health / Sanitation / Water supply / Communities / Wetlands Record No:H042773
In many places, growing population, in conjunction with efforts to increase food security, is escalating pressure to expand agriculture within wetlands. The environmental impact of wetland agriculture can have profound social and economic repercussions for people dependent on ecosystem services other than those provided directly by agriculture. If wetlands are not used sustainably, the functions which support agriculture, as well as other food security and ecosystem services, are undermined. This report synthesizes findings from multidisciplinary studies conducted into sustainable wetland agriculture by IWMI and partners in Africa and Asia. It highlights the value of wetland agriculture for poverty reduction as well as the need for more systematic planning that takes into account trade-offs in the multiple services that wetlands provide.
This paper highlights the dynamics between land use changes in the Kolleru Ramsar wetland and local livelihood systems and explains these through the lense of national policy responses and international (Ramsar) obligations. A multi-disciplinary approach was adopted by integrating geospatial tools and techniques with policy and livelihoods analysis. The findings show a temporal transfer of policy motives underpinning key land use changes, from agriculture supporting local livelihoods (up to the late 1970apos;s) to maximizing economic values of land through commercial aquaculture (1980apos;s-1999), and finally to ecological restoration and protection (1999 onwards). Each land use change brought new challenges at the local scale. Socio-economic assessments revealed that the demolition of aquaculture ponds (2006) prompted changes in livelihood strategies. Some households diversified their livelihoods (e.g. fishing)), while compensation packages helped this diversification in some instances. From the policy perspective, this case study illustrates the predominance of in-country/local lobbies over international obligations, in decision making for balancing ecosystem conservation with development.
Case studies / Legal aspects / Surveys / Households / Social aspects / Fisheries / Aquaculture / Analysis / Policy / Land use / Lakes / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H043374
This paper explores two examples from the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food research on resilience along the green-to-blue water continuum. A threatened floodplain wetland of the Mekong Basin has been shown to provide many direct and indirect benefits and services that are more resilient and less vulnerable to shocks than externally introduced agricultural systems of various types and intensity occupying the same land–water interface. Multiple-use water systems (MUS) assessed in five large basins show that, wherever water is available, people use water for greater resilience, domestic and productive purposes, including livestock watering, horticulture, irrigation, tree growing or small-scale enterprise.
Floodplains / Wetlands / Multiple use / Water productivity / Water scarcity Record No:H043341
In this paper the challenges in developing sustainable ASR operations in unconsolidated, low permeability aquifers, where operational problems such as well clogging tend to be more acute, are explored from the viewpoint of two case studies; one from Australia, the other from Thailand. Both studies were undertaken independently over different time-frames and brought together for comparative purposes. The Australian case study involved injection of wetland-treated urban stormwater into a low transmissivity, fine-grained siliceous aquifer; whereas the Thai case study involved injection of advanced-treated canal water into a colluvial/alluvial aquifer with high fines content. Although the design and execution pathways for the two trials were substantially different, ultimately the same endpoint (trial abandonment) was reached. This examination of the causative factors of failure, which were mainly related to poor recharge water quality for the Australian case, and poor hydraulic performance brought about by poor site selection for the Thai case study, lead to a number of key lessons being derived that could prove helpful to those considering ASR in similar environments.
Filtration / Water purification / Water delivery / Canals / Wetlands / Case studies / Water storage / Wells / Water quality / Recharge / Aquifers Record No:H043326
For agriculture there is a continuum of water storage options, ranging from groundwater aquifers, soil water, natural wetlands and small ponds and tanks to large reservoirs. In any situation each of these has its own niche in terms of technical feasibility, socioeconomic sustainability and impact on public health and the environment. Planning storage requires insight into impending needs and also a good understanding of what already exists and what was, and was not, successful, in the past. This report provides an inventory of existing and prospective water storage in the Ghanaian Volta and the Ethiopian Blue Nile basins. It provides as much quantitative data as possible, but highlights both the dearth of readily available information and the lack of integrated planning of storage in both basins. Recommendations are made for improved planning in the future.
Wetlands / Soil moisture / Groundwater / Tanks / Ponds / Reservoirs / River basins / Water storage Record No:H043220
Maps describing the eco-hydrology of inland wetland systems in Africa are needed to identify and implement appropriate adaptive management plans related to land use and land cover. Many African countries lack regional baseline information on the temporal extent, distribution and characteristics of wetlands. This information is provided here in the form of maps which characterize two wetland sites of international importance in Malawi and Mozambique. Multi-temporal L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) datasets are combined with Landsat Thematic Mapper and ASTER images, digital elevation models, and vegetation species data to provide information on wetland ecology and hydrology. These data were used as input to a hybrid, Decision Tree classifier and a Principal Components Analysis classification approach to produce maps depicting the spatial distribution of vegetation species and characterizing the wetland dynamics. The maps exhibit classification accuracies of 89% and 84% for the two sites respectively. The L-band SAR datasets have proved to be an essential information source in the production of these maps due to i) frequent cloud cover/smoke which reduces the temporal coverage of optical data, and ii) a systematic observation strategy and frequent image acquisition which enables characterization of the flood dynamics at a high temporal resolution.
This paper highlights the global and the regional scale representation of wetlands ecosystems using geospatial tools and multiple data sets. At global scale, the Ramsar database is investigated for representation of the wetlands sites of international importance against the “global agricultural zones” derived from the thematic aggregation of Global Irrigated Area Map databases. The analysis of “Ramsar sites” under cultivation reflects the present trend in wetlands use for agriculture. The scenario is also compared with the historical pattern derived from Vavilov’s food zones of 1926. Observed is an aggregate increase in cropped wetlands area from 25% (1926) to 43% (2006). The second component develops a regional partnership with Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History in India. The partnership reviews the thematic national database of inland wetlands and “priority wetlands habitats” (PWH) in comparison with the bio-geographic and agro-ecological factors (regions/sub-regions) and by means of geographical information system (GIS) tools. We elaborate the strength of spatial tools to better understand the relationship between wetlands distribution and agricultural zones, both historically and at the present time. The disseminated message states, though from a technical perspective, the understanding of scale and resolution in combining information from diverse sources is essential; the effective implementation of spatial analysis requires a true cross-disciplinary approach. Complementing that, relevant policy support and appropriate institutional arrangements are fundamental to advance the management work required for unification of wetlands conservation with the existing challenges of food and livelihood security.
GIS / Mapping / Irrigated land / Cultivation / Agriculture / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H043503
Water governance / Flood control / Irrigation schemes / Irrigation programs / Downstream / Environmental effects / Decision making / Political aspects / Economic aspects / Case studies / Fisheries / Models / Wetlands / History / River basins / Dams / Hydroelectric schemes / Water resources development Record No:H042351
Over one hundred wetland specialists and Earth Observation experts from around the world gathered at the European Space Agency’s ‘GlobWetland Symposium: Looking at wetlands from space’ in Frascati, Italy, from 19 to 20 October, 2006. The aim of the Symposium was to stimulate discussion between the two communities by reviewing the latest developments in Earth Observation (EO) for the inventory, assessment and monitoring of wetlands and identify key scientific, technical and policy-relevant challenges for the future. The results provide an overview of the key areas of current research in the use of EO for mapping and managing wetlands, while also pointing out gaps that could hinder global inventory, assessment and monitoring of wetlands. This paper provides a summary of the main outputs with a focus on the role of EO technologies in supporting the implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The summary contains a qualitative analysis of the state of the art and considers possible directions and priorities for future research, development and application of EO-based technologies in wetland management. In this context we: 1) highlight those applications where EO technologies are ready for wider uptake by wetland managers, and provide suggestions for supporting such uptake; 2) indicate where EO technologies and applications currently in the research and development stages could potentially be useful in wetland management; and 3) provide recommendations for new research and development of EO technologies, that can be utilized to address aspects of wetland management not covered by the range of current EO applications.
Mapping / Remote sensing / Wetlands Record No:H042525
The overarching goal of this research was to develop spatial models and demonstrate their use in selecting the most suitable areas for the inland valley (IV) wetland rice cultivation. The process involved comprehensive sets of methods and protocols involving: (1) Identification and development of necessary spatial data layers; (2) Providing weightages to these spatial data layers based on expert knowledge, (3) Development of spatial models, and (4) Running spatial models for determining most suitable areas for rice cultivation. The study was conducted in Ghana. The model results, based on weightages to 16-22 spatial data layers, showed only 3-4 % of the total IV wetland areas were “highly suitable” but 39-47 % of the total IV wetland areas were “suitable” for rice cultivation. The outputs were verified using field-plot data which showed accuracy between 84.4 to 87.5% with errors of omissions and commissions less than 23%. Given that only a small fraction (lt;15% overall) of the total IV wetland areas (about 20-28% of total geographic area in Ghana) are currently utilized for agriculture and constitute very rich land-units in terms of soil depth, soil fertility, and water availability, these agroecosystems offer an excellent opportunity for a green and a blue revolution in Africa.
Dapos;Cruz, R.; de Silva, Sanjiv; Vervest, M. J. 2009. Influencing policy. In Wetlands International. Planting trees to eat fish: field experiences in wetlands and poverty reduction. Wageningen, Netherlands: Wetlands International. pp.119-127 More... | Fulltext
Development projects / Poverty / Water user associations / Social participation / Water resource management / Policy / Peatlands / Wetlands Record No:H042246
Wood, A.; Senaratna Sellamuttu, Sonali; Dapos;Cruz, R. 2009. Managing water in wetlands for people. In Wetlands International. Planting trees to eat fish: field experiences in wetlands and poverty reduction. Wageningen, Netherlands: Wetlands International. pp.101-107 More... | Fulltext
Natural resources management / Training / Farmers / Water quality / Conflict / Water use / Water scarcity / Women / Drought / Development projects / Catchment areas / Water supply / Water management / Hydrology / Wetlands Record No:H042245
Wetlands contribute in diverse ways to the livelihoods of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. In many places they are inextricably linked to cropping and livestock management systems. At the same time, increasing population in conjunction with efforts to increase food security is escalating pressure to expand agriculture within wetlands. The environmental impact of wetland agriculture can, however, have profound social and economic repercussions for people dependent on ecosystem services other than those provided directly by agriculture. Currently, the basis for making decisions about the extent to which wetlands can be sustainably used for agriculture is weak. This paper provides an overview of wetland distribution, type and condition across Sub-Saharan Africa. Findings from an investigation of wetland use conducted in Tanzania are presented. These highlight the reliance of communities on both wetland agriculture and natural resources, and show that the nature of household dependence varies significantly from place to place and as socio-economic status changes. Consequently, incentives to manage wetland resources will differ markedly, not only from one location to another, but also across socio-economic groups within the same community. This complexity highlights the need for critical analysis of the social and economic factors that underpin the dynamics of wetland resource use in the development of sustainable management plans.
A multiple purpose wetland inventory is being developed and promoted through partnerships and specific analyses at different scales in response to past uncertainties and gaps in inventory coverage. A partnership approach is being promoted through the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands to enable a global inventory database to be compiled from individual projects and analyses using remote sensing and GIS. Individual projects that are currently part of this global effort are described. They include an analysis of the Ramsar sites’ database to map the distribution of Ramsar sites across global ecoregions and to identify regions and wetland types that are under-represented in the database. Given the extent of wetland degradation globally, largely due to agricultural activities, specific attention is directed towards the usefulness of Earth Observation in providing information that can be used to more effectively manage wetlands. As an example, a further project using satellite data and GIS to quantify the condition of wetlands along the western coastline of Sri Lanka is described and trends in land use due to changes in agriculture, sedimentation and settlement patterns are outlined. At a regional scale, a project to map and assess, using remote sensing, individual wetlands used for agriculture in eight countries in southern Africa is also described. Land cover and the extent of inundation at each site is being determined from a multi-temporal data set of images as a base for further assessment of land use change. Integrated fully within these analyses is the development of local capacity to plan and undertake such analyses and in particular to relate the outcomes to wetland management and to compile data on the distribution, extent and condition of wetlands globally.
Stakeholders / Capacity building / Case studies / Mapping / Surveys / Wetlands / GIS / Remote sensing Record No:H042129
The Karkheh River Basin is the third largest basin in Iran after Karoon and Dez, and occupies a strategic position on the western boundary of the country. The basin has seen remarkable ancient feats of engineering, and has a long history of wheat and barley production, complemented by horticulture. With the growth of the modern nation-state of Iran, water development has progressed steadily in tandem with rising populations and urbanization. The report aims to understand the historical setting and present situation of water development and allocation, in relation to rural development and agrarian policy. It provides the contextual backdrop for further research on the management of water to improve livelihoods in the basin through integrated and sustainable management of land and water resources. It provides further information on the changes in surface flows out of the component subbasins and looks at the development, use and consequences of groundwater abstraction.
Wetlands / Stream flow / Groundwater / Water depletion / Land policies / Land use / Water scarcity / Water rights / Water policy / Water use / History / River basin development Record No:H042878
Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, floodplains and wetlands are extensive. These ecosystems depend on frequent flooding. Many hydrological interventions either already exist within these basins, or are being planned to increase economic benefits and food security. However, these interventions will not be without consequences and both the costs and benefits need to be carefully evaluated. One likely consequence of increased flow regulation is reduced downstream flooding. The wetland ecosystems typically play a vital role in supporting rural populations and their sustainable management is thus critical. In order to prevent depletion of resources and ecosystem services provided by these wetlands, a balance is required between ecological and socio-economic factors. The sustainable management of wetlands requires information describing these ecosystems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. However, many African countries lack regional baseline information on the temporal extent, distribution and characteristics of wetlands. The ALOS Kyoto and Carbon Initiative is an international collaborative project led by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) which has been set up to support the data and information needs posed by international environmental conventions, carbon cycle scientists; and environmental conservation programs. This paper reports on analysis planned under the Wetland Theme of this Initiative, for the Upper Nile Basin.
Mapping / River basin management / Flood plains / Wetlands Record No:H042526
Indian wetlands have witnessed dramatic socio-environmental transformations whose drivers unfold at multiple scales. Changes in the structure of governance of natural resources are needed. Past and current approaches are based on the assumption that a commonly defined level at which management would be optimal do exist be it the local, the regional, or the national, etc. But, the relationships that societies nurture with their environment unfold at multiple and sometimes overlapping levels: true polycentric governance is based on the recognition that multiple claims and values are a reality of natural resources management: nested arenas of negotiation are needed to create a democratic space where multiple voices can be considered in the decision-making process.
Political aspects / Governance / Wetlands / Natural resources management Record No:H042658
Inland wetlands occur extensively across Sub-Saharan Africa. These ecosystems typically play a vital role in supporting rural populations and their sustainable management is thus critical. In order to prevent depletion of resources and ecosystem services provided by these wetlands, a balance is required between ecological and socio-economic factors. The sustainable management of wetlands requires information describing these ecosystems at multiple spatial and temporal scales. However, many southern and eastern African countries lack regional baseline information on the temporal extent, distribution and characteristics of wetlands. PALSAR data provides invaluable information related to the flooding patterns and vegetation characteristics of these wetlands, and is being used to document and characterise specific sites within the region which have been identified due to their vulnerability to both climatic variability and agricultural activities. The information derived from the PALSAR data is needed to assist managers in making decisions about future land uses in wetlands that are intensively used for agriculture and fisheries, and which are an important natural resource for local communities.
This study presents a comprehensive site-scale analysis conducted within the global wetland inventory and mapping (GWIM) project. GWIM was developed and promoted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) through global partnerships to investigate wetland analyses at multiple scales. The present study investigates the complexity of an inland freshwater wetland system, presenting a conceptual framework for mapping and monitoring the dynamics of Lake Kolleru (a wetland of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention), utilizing a geospatial platform. Illustrating the pace of land use changes leading to the progressive elimination of the wetland ecosystem of freshwater Lake Kolleru, this study also highlights the impacts of such changes on the socio-economic system. A comprehensive temporal analysis (1977-2007) provided a structural base to schematically analyse the dynamics of biophysical and ecological changes to the wetland by effectively using a spectrum of remote sensing data. The present status and changing trends in ecological dimensions of Lake Kolleru were illustrated, utilizing information from spatial analyses, complimented with socio-economic assessment. Attention is drawn to the potential of utilizing earth resources systems in exploring space-time interactions in freshwater ecosystems heavily modified through aquaculture interventions. Further, the spatial derivatives are meant as reference material for local authorities and decision-makers to rehabilitate the economic livelihood activities to the social community dependent on the lake ecosystem. The disseminated message emphasizes the applicability of geospatial tools to enhance the efficacy of the decision-making process by facilitating regular monitoring of ecosystem dynamics and providing updated information on wetland patterns and uses.
Finlayson, M.; Atapattu, Sithara S. 2009. Unit nine - Water and ecosystems. [Training/Course material]. In Smith, L. (Ed.). C126 - Water resources management. 10 units. [Training/Course material]. London, UK: University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP); Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 48p. More...
This unit provides an introduction to the key concepts and issues associated with managing water for ecosystems. ‘Aquatic ecosystems’ is a wide term that includes a range of inland, coastal and marine ecosystems but for the purpose of this module we will concentrate on inland and coastal aquatic ecosystems. Section 1 begins by outlining the natural resources provided by ecosystems and linkages with poverty by identifying the interdependencies and the importance of water. Section 2 details the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and their structure, processes and biodiversity. Section 3 takes a further step and describes the ecosystem services provided by these ecosystems. Section 4 looks at the over-exploitation of the services provided by aquatic ecosystems and how this can lead to ecosystem degradation. The final section concludes the unit by summarising scenarios and management response options. This unit includes an extended listing of recommendations for further reading with brief commentaries on each. These can extend study for the core topics of this unit but also cut across many of the topics covered in earlier units, given the linkages and interdependencies between water for nature and other human uses of water. Students should review the commentaries on these readings but only use this extended listing of reading as a resource to pursue specific interests as far as time allows. Concentration of study on the unit text and recommended Key Readings is sufficient for the examinations. Unit aims: To introduce the concept of natural resources with water being an important resource that supports both the livelihoods of the rural poor and aquatic ecosystems, whilst understanding their inter-linkages and interdependencies; To introduce key concepts of aquatic ecology by describing the variations and structure, the processes, species and genes, and inter-linkages; To introduce the concept of ‘ecosystem services’ in the context of aquatic ecosystems and to describe the role these play in maintaining the resource as well as supporting livelihoods of the rural poor; To provide an understanding of the key drivers of degradation and impacts on aquatic ecosystems and to describe available assessment tools and identify management approaches.
In densely populated coastal wetlands with rich biodiversity, multiple, but generally competing, economic activities are common. This paper adopts a polycentric perspective to the study of wetlands management in India to assess the scope for sustainable and equitable use of these remarkable and threatened ecosystems. The analytical framework proves to be useful and highlights that the intertwined processes of environmental and social changes result from, and shape, governance patterns. The three wetlands studied share commonalities in their trajectories: high population pressure, the enclosure of the commons and subsequent capitalization of resources and social marginalization, conflicting interests and intense local politics, a disconnect between global conservation discourses and local concerns, weak institutional arrangements, and global economic forces. The intense politics of access, control and use of natural resources challenge the implementation of a true polycentric regime in the Indian context due to a tendency to bureaucratization and a lack of participation, and existing limits to democratic citizenship. Creating a democratic space where multiple voices can be considered in the decision-making process remains a challenge. The paper concludes that inclusion of power and politics in the study of governance of natural resources should be of prime concern for researchers and decision makers.
Case studies / Political aspects / Economic aspects / Conflict / Environmental degradation / Fishermen / Lakes / Wetlands / Bureaucracy / Governance / Natural resources management Record No:H042546
Agriculture, a century old practice, has rarely been questioned as it is a necessity for feeding the world’s population. With the increase in food requirement, the sustainability of upland agriculture has posed threats to downstream and coastal areas of river basins. In South Asia, the coastal population depends on the lower part of the river basin for their livelihood such as agriculture and aquaculture. There have been numerous occasions where downstream areas have suffered as a consequence of ad hoc agricultural development activities upstream. Problems encountered in the downstream coastal areas include river desiccation, groundwater depletion, water pollution and sedimentation, salinization and salt water intrusion, soil erosion and nutrient depletion, and dynamic changes in the coastal wetland systems. The objective of this paper is to evaluate current agricultural practices, existing problems, and their implications downstream. This would facilitate the adoption of the river basin approach in managing water resources focusing on the South Asian region.
Fisheries / Environmental flows / Wetlands / Ecosystems / Biodiversity / Mangroves / Pesticide residues / Water pollution / Irrigation systems / Tillage / Farming systems / Erosion / Land degradation / River basins Record No:H041676
The present study highlights the uncertainties that govern wetland management using the Kolleru Wetland case study. The largest fresh water lake and an Ramsar site of international importance it has circled around over past half century from being a fresh water balancing reservoir to agriculture land and shifting as a aquaculture treasure island and lastly ceasing to the aquaculture demolition vis’-a-vis’ restoration conflict in 2007. As nearly all stopovers of this journey was driven by policy shift that demanded economic benefit while surpassing ecological and social community growth. We hereby discuss the event and the analysis of the present state of affairs also spotlighting the major concerns on multiple fronts.
Case studies / Aquaculture / Fisheries / Lakes / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H041396
The Usangu wetlands, containing the Ihefu swamp, are one of the most valuable inland wetlands in Tanzania. Over the last decade, outflow from the swamp has ceased for extended periods in the dry season. This has had severe consequences for downstream ecosystems, including the Ruaha National Park. Results from a simple hydrological model developed for the Ihefu swamp indicate that, between 1958 and 2004, dry season inflows declined by approximately 60% and the dry season area of the swamp decreased by approximately 40% (i.e. from 160 km2 to 93 km2). The model also shows that to maintain minimum downstream environmental flows requires a minimum inflow of 7m3s?1, which is approximately 65% greater than occurs currently. There is significant potential for improving water use efficiency. However, given the socio-economic importance of current levels of water withdrawal, this inflow may be difficult to achieve. Consequently consideration needs to be given to other options, including upstream storage and water management within the wetland itself. This paper highlights that a simple model supplying relatively low- confidence, but indicative, results can provide a useful basis for contemplating water management options.
Flow / Rivers / Water allocation / Simulation models / Hydrology / Swamps / Wetlands / Environmental effects / Water management Record No:H041015
An international project called ‘WETwin’ has been launched in June 2008 within the frame of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (EC). The overall objective of the project is to enhance the role of wetlands in basin-scale integrated water resources management, with the aim of improving the community service functions while conserving good ecological status. Strategies will be identified for:
utilizing the drinking water supply and sanitation potentials of wetlands for the benefit of people living in the basin, while maintaining the ecosystem functions
adapting wetland management to changing environmental conditions
integrating wetlands into river basin management
improving stakeholder participation and capacity building with the aim of supporting sustainable wetland management.
The project will work on apos;twinnedapos; case study wetlands from Europe, Africa and South America. Management solutions will be worked out for these wetlands with the aim of supporting the achievement of the above objectives. Knowledge and experiences gained from these case studies will be summarized in general guidelines aiming to support integrated wetland management on global scale. Stakeholder participation, capacity building and dissemination will be essential components of the project.
European Union / Stakeholders / River basin management / Ecology / Drinking water / Sanitation / Research projects / Wetlands / Water management Record No:H044730
Wastewater / Water reuse / Irrigated farming / Groundwater irrigation / Wetlands / Farming systems / Water storage / Case studies / Irrigation methods / Irrigation programs / Irrigation systems / Water conservation / Multiple use / Water use efficiency / Water productivity Record No:H041869
Mukherjee, Sacchidananda. 2008. Economic valuation of a wetland in West Bengal, India. In Kumar, M. Dinesh (Ed.). Managing water in the face of growing scarcity, inequity and declining returns: exploring fresh approaches. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Partners Meet, IWMI TATA Water Policy Research Program, ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad, India, 2-4 April 2008. Vol.1. Hyderabad, India: International Water Management Institute (IWMI), South Asia Sub Regional Office. pp.254-266 More... | Fulltext
Jogo, W.; Morardet, Sylvie. 2008. Wetland uses and livelihood strategies in the Limpopo River Basin: the case of Ga-Mampa wetland, South Africa. In Humphreys, E.; Bayot, R. S.; van Brakel, M.; Gichuki, F.; Svendsen, M.; Wester, P.; Huber-Lee, A.; Cook, S. Douthwaite, B.; Hoanh, Chu Thai; Johnson, N.; Nguyen-Khoa, Sophie; Vidal, A.; MacIntyre, I.; MacIntyre, R. (Eds.). Fighting poverty through sustainable water use: proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 10-14 November 2008. Vol.3. Water benefits sharing for poverty alleviation and conflict management; Drivers and processes of change. Colombo, Sri Lanka: CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. pp.38-40 More... | Fulltext
Social aspects / Natural resources / Gender / Households / Poverty / Cultivation / Ecosystems / Wetlands / River basins Record No:H041857
Nagabhatla, Nidhi; Saimone, F.; Juizo, D.; Masiyandima, Mutsa. 2008. Seasonality dynamics for investigating wetland agriculture nexus and its ecosystems service values in Chibuto, Mozambique. In Humphreys, E.; Bayot, R. S.; van Brakel, M.; Gichuki, F.; Svendsen, M.; Wester, P.; Huber-Lee, A.; Cook, S. Douthwaite, B.; Hoanh, Chu Thai; Johnson, N.; Nguyen-Khoa, Sophie; Vidal, A.; MacIntyre, I.; MacIntyre, R. (Eds.). Fighting poverty through sustainable water use: proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 10-14 November 2008. Vol.3. Water benefits sharing for poverty alleviation and conflict management; Drivers and processes of change. Colombo, Sri Lanka: CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. pp.41-45 More... | Fulltext
Land use / Grazing lands / Crop production / Cultivation / Floodplains / Poverty / Agroecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H041851
Since India gained Independence, the Krishna basin has seen an increasing mobilization of its water resources. Warnings of basin closure (minimal flow to the ocean) emerge during dry periods. Basin water development and local rural dynamics have led to a degradation of downstream ecosystems manifesting itself by salinizing soil and groundwater, increasing pollution, making mangroves disappear, and desiccating wetlands. Reversing this evolution requires the formal recognition of the environment as a water user in its own right and the implementation of an environmental water provision. This provision should be based on a two-tier allocation system with assured discharges in the irrigation canals of the delta and to the ocean. This will lead to further commitment of water resources, but this is needed to reconcile the social, economic, and environmental objectives of sustainable development. Other measures facilitating integrated natural resources management from the local to the basin level are needed too.
Wetlands / Lakes / Irrigation canals / Salinity / Aquifers / Groundwater / Water allocation / Ecosystems / Environmental degradation / River basin development Record No:H040577
Fisheries / Rice / Irrigated farming / Water supply / Estuaries / Lagoons / Ecosystems / Agriculture / River basins Record No:H041672
Dixon, A.; Wood, A.; Finlayson, Max; van Halsema, G. E. 2008. Exploring agriculture-wetland interactions: a framework for analysis. In Wood, A.; van Halsema, G. E. (Eds.). Scoping agriculture-wetland interactions: towards a sustainable multiple-response strategy. [Contributions by IWMI and other partner organizations of the project Guidelines on Agriculture, Wetlands and Water Resource Interactions (GAWI)]. Rome, Italy: FAO. pp.5-27 (FAO Water Reports 33) More... | Fulltext
Stakeholders / Water use / Ecosystems / Agriculture / Wetlands Record No:H041671
When ecosystems services fail, human health suffers - and for no ecosystem is this link more direct than for wetlands. One third of the world’s population lacks sufficient clean water for drinking, personal hygiene and cooking, and about two million people die annually from waterborne diarrhoeal disease. Even when water is available in abundance, ecosystem disruptions can carry a heavy disease burden: over-irrigation results in standing water in which disease-carrying mosquitoes breed, and water used by industry often allows toxins to enter the human food chain. Altered hydrologies and vegetation structures can lead to hardship, global environmental change, and, most recently, a host of new, ‘emerging’ infectious disease epidemics. Poor wetland management leads to a deterioration of both wetland ecosystem health and human health. It is only in the last couple of decades that we have come to appreciate the strength of the fundamental relationship between wetland ecosystem health and human health, and therefore the importance of developing environmental management strategies that support the maintenance of both wetland ecosystem health and human health concurrently. However, the concept of what constitutes a healthy wetland is not straightforward. Whilst the slogan ‘Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People’ may resonate with many people, wetland health is still largely a subjective concept. It is also one that is heavily influenced by our political ecologies; there are many complexities and uncertainties when considering healthy people and healthy wetlands. These complexities and the inter-related scientific issues are explored in this paper - what is a healthy wetland and how does a healthy wetland affect human health?
Ecosystems / Public health / Social values / Wetlands Record No:H041665
The overarching goal of this study was to develop a comprehensive methodology for mapping natural and human-made wetlands using fine resolution Landsat enhanced thematic mapper plus (ETM+), space shuttle radar topographic mission digital elevation model (SRTM DEM) data and secondary data. First, automated methods were investigated in order to rapidly delineate wetlands; this involved using: (a) algorithms on SRTM DEM data, (b) thresholds of SRTM-derived slopes, (c) thresholds of ETM+ spectral indices and wavebands and (d) automated classification techniques using ETM+ data. These algorithms and thresholds using SRTM DEM data either over-estimated or under-estimated stream densities (S d) and stream frequencies (S f), often generating spurious (non-existent) streams and/or, at many times, providing glaring inconsistencies in the precise physical location of the streams. The best of the ETM+-derived indices and wavebands either had low overall mapping accuracies and/or high levels of errors of omissions and/or errors of commissions. Second, given the failure of automated approaches, semi-automated approaches were investigated; this involved the: (a) enhancement of images through ratios to highlight wetlands from non-wetlands, (b) display of enhanced images in red, green, blue (RGB) false colour composites (FCCs) to highlight wetland boundaries, (c) digitizing the enhanced and displayed images to delineate wetlands from non-wetlands and (d) classification of the delineated wetland areas into various wetland classes. The best FCC RGB displays of ETM+ bands for separating wetlands from other land units were: (a) ETM+4/ETM+7, ETM+4/ETM+3, ETM+4/ETM+2, (b) ETM+4, ETM+3, ETM+5 and (c) ETM+3, ETM+2, ETM+1. In addition, the SRTM slope threshold of less than 1% was very useful in delineating higher-order wetland boundaries. The wetlands were delineated using the semi-automated methods with an accuracy of 96% as determined using field-plot data. The methodology was evaluated for the Ruhuna river basin in Sri Lanka, which has a diverse landscape ranging from sea shore to hilly areas, low to very steep slopes (0 to 50), arid to semi-arid zones and rain fed to irrigated lands. Twenty-four per cent (145 733 ha) of the total basin area was wetlands as a result of a high proportion of human-made irrigated areas, mainly under rice cropping. The wetland classes consisted of irrigated areas, lagoons, mangroves, natural vegetation, permanent marshes, salt pans, lagoons, seasonal wetlands and water bodies. The overall accuracies of wetland classes varied between 87% and 94% (K hat = 0.83 to 0.92) with errors of omission less than 13% and errors of commission less than 1%.
Mohamed, Yasir Abbas; van den Hurk, B. J. J. M.; Savenije, H. H. 2007. Moisture recycling over the Nile Basin. In Reducing the Vulnerability of Societies to Water Related Risks at the Basin Scale: Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Integrated Water Resources Management, Bochum, Germany, 26-28 September 2006. IAHS publication 317. pp.18-23 More...
Wetlands / Models / Climate / Precipitation / Evaporation / Recycling / Moisture content / River basins Record No:H039749
The lack of sufficient access to clean water is a common problem faced by communities, efforts to alleviate poverty and gender inequality and improve economic growth in developing countries. While reforms have been implemented to manage water resources, these have taken little notice of how people use and manage their water and have had limited effect at the ground level. On the other hand, regulations developed within communities are livelihood-oriented and provide incentives for collective action but they can also be hierarchal, enforcing power and gender inequalities. This book shows how bringing together the strengths of community-based laws rooted in user participation and the formalized legal systems of the public sector, water management regimes will be more able to reach their goals. Evaluating the interface between community and formal water laws, chapters consider examples from Africa, Latin America and Asia and provide valuable insights for policy makers, managers, researchers and field implementers.
Water user associations / Gender / Water supply / Land tenure / Spate irrigation / Wetlands / Policy / Irrigation management / Water resource management / Water rights / Social participation / Legislation / Water law Record No:H040683
Wetlands are amongst the earth’s most productive ecosystem and directly and indirectly support millions of people by providing ecosystem services or benefits, many through maintenance of the hydrological system. Land use changes in developed and developing countries are resulting in gradual elimination of wetlands at global and regional scales. Moreover, anthropogenic pressure to convert wetlands for other land uses is reported to be increasing significantly from developing countries. The Convention on Wetlands is an international initiative that provides a framework for wetland inventory, assessment, monitoring and wise use worldwide. In support of the Convention a multi-scalar wetland inventory was developed by IWMI. At the global level, the distribution of Ramsar sites has been analysed, focusing on the role and impact of agriculture activities. At the regional scale, the role of geospatial data sets has been tested for identifying wetlands in India. In addition a multiple-scale site analysis, using earth observation data and GIS, is underway to detect trends in wetland use for a coastal lagoon-marsh wetland complex in Sri Lanka and for the inland fresh water Lake Kolleru, India. For the regional analysis, two different datasets viz., national wetland inventory data (from SACON-30m) and GIAM (Global Irrigated Area Map-500 m) were used. The preliminary analysis reflects 57 % overlap in wetland area for Gujarat and 10 % for Tamil Nadu. The geospatial change analyses (studied using IDRISI-Andes) in Sri Lanka reflect the loss of deep water lagoon(5%), littoral forest (2 %.) and marsh (1%) due to sedimentation, infilling, vegetation clearance and expansion in built up areas; hence identifying urban development, pollution and the population pressure as the primary ‘indicators of stress’. In Kolleru, the temporal spatial analysis addresses the balance in conservation measures and livelihood dynamics. We intend to integrate the biophysical and socio-economic parameters to explain the role of earth resource satellite data and geospatial tools for sustainable management of wetland systems.
Remote sensing / Analysis / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H040565
Many decisions on water allocation in river basins are made on economic grounds. Environmental and social benefits of water should also be considered in river basin management, and attempts should be made to value them similarly. This is not a straightforward task and very few studies have directly addressed this issue to date. In this paper, the Menik Ganga (River) in southern Sri Lanka is used as a case study to attempt and evaluate the costs and benefits of environmental water allocations, referred to as ‘environmental flows’ (EF). In this study, a broad definition of EF is used: the components of EF evaluated include the requirements of the religious festival, the requirements of the Yala National Park, the requirements of the Pilinnawa Coastal Wetland and the requirements of the Yala Fishery Management Area, off the coast. Almost all estimates are based on use values of EF such as marketed goods and recreation. For some components multiple estimates have been attempted. The religious EF requirement is estimated using the cost of alternative water supplies. The benefits of the EF requirement for the Yala National Park are estimated using the forgone value of tourism in the dry season and the benefits of avoiding the Human-Elephant Conflict. The Additional expenditure for the park in the dry season is also presented as another proxy estimate of the benefits of EF. The Benefit Transfer method was used for the Pilinnawa Wetland and grassland due to data constraints. The market prices of lobster and income of chank divers are used as proxies for the economic benefits of EF to the Yala Fishery Management Area. Finally, the cumulative value of the individual components is presented and discussed. The paper intends to stimulate discussion and further research on the complex subject of valuing the social and environmental benefits of water – whether it is in the Menik Ganga, elsewhere in Sri Lanka or elsewhere in the world.
Economic evaluation / Case studies / Water requirements / Water allocation / Fisheries / Wildlife / Wetlands / Ecosystems / Rivers Record No:H040566
In the face of growing water stress and increasing concerns over the sustainability of water use, Tanzania has, in common with many other countries in Africa, focused largely on the development of more integrated catchment-wide approaches to water management. In the Great Ruaha River Basin, considerable effort has gone into increasing water productivity and the promotion of mechanisms for more efficient allocation of water resources. Over a period of five years, the RIPARWIN project investigated water management in the basin and evaluated the effectiveness of some of the mechanisms that have been introduced. The study findings are relevant to basins in developing countries where there is competition for water and irrigation is one of the main uses.
Decision support tools / Water user associations / User charges / Water rates / Economic aspects / Water law / Water rights / Wetlands / Water allocation / Water use / Irrigation efficiency / Irrigation management / Irrigation programs / Water stress / River basin management Record No:H040549
As wetlands in sub-Saharan Africa often play a vital role in supporting the livelihood and well-being of rural populations their sustainable management is critical. In many instances however, sustainable management of these ecosystems is hindered by a lack of information. For large, inaccessible wetlands Earth Observation data may provide the only practical means of obtaining this information, especially for mapping and monitoring spatial and temporal characteristics. These issues have been addressed at priority wetland sites, vulnerable to both climatic variability and agricultural activities (both subsistence and commercial) n eight countries in southern Africa; here we report outcomes from two of the larger wetlands where increased population pressure and exploitation of resources within the wetlands and the surrounding catchments are leading to serious degradation and loss of biodiversity and inter-linked ecosystem services. A combination of GPS, GIS, aerial photographs and satellite remote sensing data at multiple scales, as well as ground based information, were used to describe the ecological characteristics of these sites, and to map the spatial distribution of the major land cover types. The maps provide information which can be used to assist managers in making decisions about future land uses in wetlands that are intensively used for agriculture and fisheries. The land cover and land use analyses will also provide the basis for livelihood assessments and management interventions.
GIS / Remote sensing / Land cover / Vegetation / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H040789
Future changes in water availability due to climate change (CC) are of paramount importance for food security of millions of rural people worldwide. Many recent extremes of water shortage followed by devastating floods reflect some of the climate change predictions, which are gradually becoming more certain and alarming. Appropriate measures in agricultural water management can greatly reduce poor people’s vulnerability to CC by reducing water related risks and creating buffers against often unforeseen changes in precipitation and water availability. An appropriate water research agenda is essential to improve our knowledge of the linkages between water, food and CC and guide the right investments aimed at improving resilience of farming communities and food security. This agenda includes understanding the adaptation and mitigation roles of agricultural practices and water resources management options, characterization of climate change impacts at different scales, and evaluation of water implications of direct climate change mitigation interventions. This agenda will result in strategies that contribute to reduced risk and enhanced resilience of agricultural systems. Building on its research capital in the water, food and livelihood nexus, IWMI is in a good position to help formulate and implement this agenda.
Water storage / Irrigated farming / Rainfed farming / Productivity / Food production / Food security / Water resource management / Wetlands / Ecosystems / Risks / Drought / Flooding / Climate change Record No:H040782
Land policies / Livestock / Farming / Fisheries / Fishermen / Poverty / Living conditions / Wetlands Record No:H040781
Challenge Program for Water and Food (CPWF); FAO-Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP); International Water Management Institute (IWMI); International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); WorldFish Center; Burapha University. 2007. Managing the coastal land-water interface in tropical delta systems. Conference Program, Bang Sean, Thailand, 7-9 November 2007. : Colombo, Sri Lanka: Challenge Program for Water and Food (CPWF); Rome, Italy: FAO-Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP); Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI); Los Banos, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); Penang, Malaysia: WorldFish Center; Bangsaen, Thailand: Burapha University 55p. More...
Case studies / Risk assessment / Sustainable development / Vermicomposting / Aquatic weeds / Acidity / Spatial distribution / Aquatic environment / Salt water intrusion / Shrimps / Rice fields / Profitability / Ecosystems / Resource management / Oils industry / Natural resources management / Local government / Local communities / Wetlands / Incentives / Mangroves / Environmental impact assessment / Environmental sustainability / Environmental policy / Living standards / Salinity / River basins / Delta / Water use / Water quality / Water governance / Water management / Land degradation / Land use / Land management / Coastal waters / Coastal area Record No:H049068
Sri Lanka. Central Environmental Authority (CEA); IUCN Sri Lanka; IWMI. 2006. National wetland directory of Sri Lanka. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Central Environmental Authority (CEA); International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 342p. More...
Ecosystems / Ecology / Wetlands / Health hazards / Public health / Water quality / Irrigated farming / Poverty / Gender / Research policy / Institutional development / Governance / Public health / Water quality / Erosion / Models / River basins / Groundwater management / Land management / Productivity / Irrigation management / Water resource management Record No:H042253
This report presents the findings of a study to assess changes to flows into, and downstream of, the Usangu Wetlands, located in the headwaters of the Great Ruaha River, Tanzania. Hydrological data, in conjunction with remote sensing techniques, were used to provide insights into changes that have occurred to the Eastern Wetland. Results indicate that, between 1958 and 2004, inflows to the wetland declined by about 70 percent in the dry season months (July to November) as a consequence of increased human withdrawals, primarily for irrigation.
Time series analysis / Land cover / Irrigated sites / Water budget / Simulation models / Hydrology / Remote sensing / Environmental effects / Ecology / Rivers / Wetlands Record No:H039649
Ecosystems / Ecology / Wetlands / Health hazards / Public health / Water quality / Irrigated farming / Poverty / Gender / Research policy / Institutional development / Governance / Public health / Water quality / Erosion / Models / River basins / Groundwater management / Land management / Productivity / Irrigation management / Water resource management Record No:H039650
This Water Policy Briefing is based on Working Wetlands: Classifying Wetland Potential for Agriculture by Matthew P. McCartney, Mutsa Masiyandima and Helen A. Houghton-Carr (IWMI Research Report 90); Wetlands: Functions and Values by Matthew P. McCartney; and Challenges for Wetlands: Water Management and Agriculture by Max Finlayson, Mutsa Masiyandima, David Molden and Rebecca Tharme. The trade-off between environmental protection and development is most acute in dynamic and complex ecosystems such as wetlands. Wetlands ‘work’ for society. They maintain environmental quality, sustain livelihoods and support biodiversity. However, socio-economic pressures mean that we are now pushing wetlands to work even harder, for example, by producing more crops or grazing more cattle. History shows that ‘over-working’ wetlands can cause them to change significantly—often with negative effects on the communities or even civilizations that depend on them. Safeguarding the benefits of wetland services for society must be weighed against the potential benefits of development. But making such decisions is difficult. Besides physical, economic and social factors, the impact of any changes on stakeholders at all levels—local, regional and global—must be considered for ‘wise use’ of wetlands. policymakers and planners need to ensure that they take the most comprehensive range of factors possible into account in any trade-off between wetland services and development choices. Fortunately, a simple sixstep approach to determine Working Wetland Potential is now available to help assess the opportunities and risks of changing a wetland’s workload (Fig. 1). This method, one of the first of its kind, combines both the social and biophysical aspects of wetlands into one index relevant to agricultural use. IWMI has applied the approach to proposed agricultural activities in wetlands in southern Africa—a region where development is essential and pressure on wetlands is increasing. The approach ensures that many crucial questions about using wetlands for agriculture are made explicit and, at least, considered in the planning process. It is a step forward in securing and improving people’s quality of life while, at the same time, safeguarding the ecological benefits derived from wetland ecosystems.
Agricultural development / Ecosystems / Wetlands Record No:H039285
Knowledge of wetland hydrology and quantification of water inputs and outputs are Prerequisites to understanding wetland environments and determining their vulnerability to change. To get a better understanding of the dynamics of wetland change in the Usangu Plains, a study was conducted to: a) investigate the effects of human interventions on the wetlands, and b) determine the amount of dry season inflow required to maintain environmental flows downstream of the wetlands. The study integrated hydrologic data, remote sensing and GIS techniques to study the dynamics and spatial response of the wetlands. A monthly water balance model was developed for the wetlands to determine the major components of the water budget. The results of the analyses indicate that the wetlands have changed appreciably in size over recent years and the inflow volumes have decreased with time as a result of increased human interventions. The dry season vegetated swamp cover, a major component of the swamp, decreased by 67% over the 16 years from 1984 to 2000. If this trend continues, it is possible that the wetlands will undergo a change which will be extremely difficult to reverse. Downstream of the wetlands an environmental flow of 0.5 m3/s was estimated. To maintain this outflow, the corresponding inflow volume into the wetlands was estimated to be 7m3/s. To achieve this, the available dry season water resource will have to be divided 20% for anthropogenic needs and 80% for the environment to feed the wetland. The study has demonstrated the need for integrated water resources management to balance the demands between different sectors and enable appropriate catchment interventions to ensure the sustainability of wetland resources.
Water resource management / Remote sensing / GIS / Water balance / Environmental effects / Models / Wetlands / River basins Record No:H041152
This paper describes a parsimonious approach for the evaluation of wetland hydrological functions, based on continuous observed streamflow records and flow duration curves. The functions evaluated are baseflow maintenance and flood attenuation, jointly referred to as flow regulation. The first step in this evaluation is to establish a reference hydrological condition. This condition is defined in terms of mean daily and instantaneous daily maximum flow time-series and their corresponding duration curves, assuming that there is no wetland in the catchment. Further steps include calculating the changes of various flow percentiles, caused by the presence of a wetland, detailed hydrograph analysis, baseflow analysis and analysis of changes in characteristics of continuous flow events above and below specified threshold discharges. The method is illustrated using the observed streamflow data in the catchment of the Rustenburg wetland in South Africa.
This paper reports on a form of multi-criteria analysis that provides a formal approach for evaluating the suitability of a wetland for specific agricultural uses, and ensures that explicit consideration is given to the possible consequences of such utilization. The method is based on a hybrid of ideas taken from concepts and methodologies related to: environmental flow assessments, land suitability classification and the hazard evaluation procedures used in the design of dams. The approach, which elaborates the idea of working wetlands, is generic, though the examples presented are for case studies from southern Africa.
Case studies / Social aspects / Natural resources / Ecology / Wetlands Record No:H037151
FAO-Netherlands Partnership Programme (FNPP) on Sustainable Development and Management of Wetlands
Constraints / Conflict / Environmental effects / Land tenure / Fish farming / Poverty / Domestic water / Water supply / Food supply / Income / Households / Land use / Cultivation / Social aspects / Policy / Wetlands Record No:H043636
The main book contains articles based on “Copenhagen Consensus 2004.”
Cost benefit analysis / Water harvesting / Manual pumps / Drip irrigation / Appropriate technology / Investment / Irrigation systems / Wetlands / Food production / Poverty / Irrigated farming / Sanitation / Water supply / Water resource management / Public sector / Water use / Water resources Record No:H036070
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a unique crop grown in virtually all agro-ecological zones in Nigeria. Much emphasis has been placed on the chemical properties of soils on which rice is grown while there is sparse information on the effect of soil physical properties on grain yield of rice. Field experiments were conducted on upland and wetland soils as they relate to water management for rice production in Nigeria. Results showed that soils with higher clay contents in the top and sub-soils gave higher grain yields of rice compared with soils that are of sandy texture. In terms of agro-climatic characteristics Nigeria could be classified as being highly suitable (S1) for rice cultivation. However, considering the top and subsoil clay contents, these soils are only marginally suitable (S3) for rice production. Soil texture, soil surface relief, groundwater level, as well as number of days of submergence significantly affected the growth and grain yield of rice on lowland soils while clay contents in the subsoil is a significant factor in water retention for upland rice cultivars. These factors must be given proper attention in managing water for rice production in Nigeria.
Soil properties / Water table / Water management / Wetlands / Crop production / Rice Record No:H035916
Wetlands in the Limpopo Basin support the livelihoods of many poor people through agriculture for both food production and income. Wetlands are used to mitigate the problem of low crop yields associated with low rainfall and droughts. However, wetlands are complex and ecologically sensitive environments, which fulfill other important environmental functions, such as flood control or groundwater recharge and discharge. Consequently, altering the wetland environment through cultivation has potential impacts not just within the wetland but also in downstream areas. In a context of escalating unemployment and unreliable rainfall, it appears difficult to prevent further development of wetlands for agriculture. However it is also important to ensure that this development does not compromise environmental security. Sustainable management of wetlands cannot be achieved without active participation of all stakeholders, including local communities and environmental groups. Despite the abundant literature on sustainable use of wetlands, there are few decision-support tools designed to assist stakeholders in their choices. Different approaches exist to assess the value of natural resources such as wetlands, according to types of use (e.g. consumptive/non consumptive, productive/non productive). Nevertheless, they provide values that are difficult to compare, and that furthermore reflect a balance of human activities that is likely to change over time. The framework proposed in this paper aims at analysing the trade-offs between wetlands uses by local population and preservation of environmental services, in order to support decision-making by policy makers and wetland users. The framework is based on a combination of participatory methods, observations, surveys and simulation tools to diagnose and analyse the present uses and the ecological status of the wetland. Several multi-disciplinary models (hydrological, agronomic, economic models and GIS) will be interconnected to represent the complex relationships between ecological processes and human activities in the wetland. Simulation of various scenarios of land use and farming practices will help at assessing the trade-offs among these uses and the trade-offs between them and the provision of environmental services by wetlands
Ecosystems / Cost benefit analysis / Decision making / Policy / Economic analysis / Wetlands / River basins Record No:H035912
FAO-Netherlands Partnership Programme (FNPP) on Sustainable Development and Management of Wetlands. AG:FNPP/GLO/002/NET Field document
Constraints / Conflict / Environmental effects / Land tenure / Fish farming / Poverty / Domestic water / Water supply / Food supply / Income / Households / Land use / Cultivation / Social aspects / Policy / Wetlands Record No:H035873
Research priorities / Training needs assessment / Water use / Land use / Investment / Wetlands / Salinity / Groundwater depletion / Social aspects / Economic aspects / Food supply / Households / Poverty / Developing countries / Water scarcity / Land resources / Ecosystems / Water quality / Public policy / Urbanization / Watersheds / Water pollution / Soil degradation / Environmental effects / Food security / Water resource management Record No:H034918
Flood plains / Water quality / Reforms / Water policy / Water pollution / Wetlands / Crop production / Water use efficiency / River basin development / Social aspects / Groundwater / Environmental degradation / Water scarcity / Flood control Record No:H033400
Crop production / Water demand / Water reuse / Wastewater / Effluents / Recycling / Urbanization / Groundwater management / Food production / Wetlands / Water harvesting / Rain / Water supply / Water resources / Food security / Water use / Irrigated farming Record No:H030810
van Koppen, B. 2002. Gender analysis for improved irrigation performance. In Sally, H.; Abernethy, C. L. (Eds.), Private irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Regional Seminar on Private Sector Participation and Irrigation Expansion in Sub- Saharan Africa, Accra, Ghana, 22-26 October 2001. Colombo, Sri Lanka: IWMI; FAO; ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. pp.65-75 More... | Fulltext (0.12 MB)
Wetlands / Farming systems / Households / Irrigation water / Water policy / Female labor / Family labor / Decision making / Women / Gender Record No:H030871
Wetlands / Lagoons / Catchment areas / Water allocation / Water requirements / Ecosystems / Environmental effects / River basins / Irrigated farming / Water conservation / Water resource management Record No:H029686
Water user associations / Wetlands / Farming systems / Poverty / Rural development / Decision making / s status / Womanapos / Income / Rural women / Irrigated farming / Water supply / Water policy / Households / Water use / Gender Record No:H029592
This paper presents a Benchmark Basin initiative which was proposed in IWMIapos;s Strategic Plan 2001-2005 as an approach to understand and beneficially influence water resources development in selected basins in a variety of agro-ecological zones.The initial task represented by this workshop is to conduct a dialogue among partners and stakeholders in the Ruhuna Basin,Sri Lanka. A major objective is to identify these issues and research and also development activities considered to be of highest priority to partners and stakeholders.
Research projects / Institutions / Wetlands / Databases / Remote sensing / Mapping / Planning / Productivity / Case studies / River basins / Water resource management Record No:H028751
This report is intended to serve as reference and guide for researchers and policy makers linked to water resources development in Turkey and elsewhere. The topics covered include: recent developments in the water sector, the epidemiology and control of malaria and schistosomiasis, the use and effects of pesticides in irrigated agriculture, water quality issues and standards and the relationship between irrigation and wetlands.
Wetlands / Water reuse / Wastewater / Water pollution / Water quality / Environmental effects / Pesticides / Waterborne diseases / Malaria / Schistosomiasis / Health / Irrigation management / Water demand / Water resources development Record No:H027443
This report investigates how much water is required to maintain the freshwater reed beds that are the main shelter and breeding place for threatened bird species. The ability of Gediz basin to fulfill this requirement and the effects of this requirement on irrigated agriculture, the major competitor for water in the Gediz basin were subsequently examined.
Wildlife / Irrigation scheduling / Conflict / Water quality / Irrigated farming / Water balance / Precipitation / Simulation / Hydrology / Models / Water availability / Water allocation / Water requirements / Water management / Wetlands / River basins Record No:H027200
Report submitted to the Council of Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering Research Center, Taoyuan Irrigation Research and Development Foundation, Environment Greening Foundation and Tsao-Jiin Memorial Foundation for Research and Development for Agriculture and Irrigation of the Republic of China.
Case studies / Data collection / Agricultural research / Tourism / Public health / Water supply / Sustainability / Ecosystems / Wetlands / Environmental effects / Water use / Irrigation programs / Irrigation management / Livestock / Fisheries / Lagoons / River basins / Crop production / Drainage / Irrigation water / Water reuse / Wastewater / Water quality Record No:H024792
The main objectives of the workshop were to discuss current insights into the water quality of the Bundala Lagoons, to set priorities for further research, and develop appropriate water management strategies that could improve and sustain the environment of the Bundala Na- tional Park. The workshop brought together a multidisciplinary group of 38 people from 22 governmental and nongovernmental organizations. After the workshop, a project protocol was finalized and now forms the basis for collaboration between several institutions involved in field based activities in the Bundala National Park.
Water scarcity / Land degradation / Agriculture / Drainage / Lagoons / Wetlands / Cattle / Wildlife / Social aspects / Hydrology / Irrigation effects / Water quality / Environmental degradation / Water use efficiency / Water resource management Record No:H023706
van der Hoek, W. 1998. IIMI and the Bundala National Park. In Matsuno, Y.; van der Hoek, W.; Ranawake, M. (Eds.), Irrigation water management and the Bundala National Park: Proceedings of the Workshop on Water Quality of the Bundala Lagoons, held at IIMI, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 03 April 1998. Colombo, Sri Lanka: IWMI. pp.1-3 More... | Fulltext
Water use / Ecosystems / Wetlands / Irrigation programs Record No:H023707
Kotagama, S. 1995. Natural environment and irrigation. In Haq, K. A.; Wijayaratne, C. M.; Samarasekera, B. M. S. (Eds.), Summaries of papers presented at Irrigation Research Management Unit seminar series during 1994. Colombo, Sri Lanka: IIMI. pp.5-6 More... | Fulltext (0.07)
Irrigation management / Environmental effects / Salt water intrusion / Wetlands Record No:H016790
At IWMI, researching underlying economic and social trends helps us understand why people migrate. They also explain the impact of remittances and loss of agricultural labor, as well as consequences of migration on gender roles and food and water security. For instance, communities with higher levels of income inequality, or relative deprivation, may experience greater levels of out-migration compared to consistently low-income communities. In addition, migration changes intra-household gender-labor composition, which can change the access of smallholders to water resources, affecting the functioning of community-based institutions and consequently household and local food security. IWMI also focuses on circular economy, a strategy to recover and reuse waste, to boost food security and understand how interventions can encourage refugee and host communities to retain scarce resources.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Urban & rural transformation
As agricultural opportunities fluctuate in rural areas, migration, particularly to urban areas, is an adaptation technique to secure incomes and alternative livelihoods. Income generated by migrants is often sent back to family as remittances to support communities at home. At IWMI, we assess linkages between rural and urban areas, as well as the role of agricultural knowledge systems and food and water security. We recognize there are complex push and pull factors such as individual aspirations, economic opportunity, social norms, climate variability and government policies which drive migration and affect rural communities, particularly youth. Our work follows a ‘positive migration’ philosophy, framing migration as an adaptation technique and socio-economic choice (in many cases) rather than a problem to be solved, and focuses on establishing safer, more regular migration by supporting changes to migration governance in sending regions.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Covid-19 disruption & adaptation
Covid-19 has caused a rupture in migration logistics and exposed inequities in the migration system, yet drivers of movement remain. Government lockdowns and closed borders due to the pandemic curtailed movement for migrants, posing complex problems for migrant hosting and origin countries. There have been significant economic shocks, with a sharp decline in unemployment for migrants and an inability to send money home through remittances to support family. Some migrants face social stigma for returning home without an income, particularly if families relied on loans to support their journeys. Consequences have been severe for informal migrants who lack government protection in their host countries. Migrants, particularly those living in crowded, lower-income neighborhoods, have been experiencing stigmatization related to the spread of Covid-19. We look at the impacts of Covid-19 on migration governance and rural areas across seven countries,development planning in Ghana, migration challenges in Southeast Asia, and community-based disaster management and resilience building in South Africa.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Water, climate change and agrarian stress
Migration, water and climate stress are inextricably linked to rural development. Water stress and climate variability can act as a driver of fragility, intensifying pre-existing political, social, economic and environmental challenges. Initiatives designed to address migration-related challenges must tackle inequalities and the exclusion of women, youth and marginalized groups; governance opportunities to better manage water and natural resources and technology and innovations to help communities escape socio-ecological precarity and thrive despite climate challenges. IWMI intends to build climate resilience by implementing projects which tackle gender-power inequalities in the face of dynamic, economic-social-ecological challenges. Our work brings together affected communities, institutional stakeholders and social actors to manage water in response to climate variability and agrarian stress, striving to address complex physical and social variables.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Gender, intersectionality and social inclusion
It is critical to center gender and intersectional identities when unpacking migration phenomena. Gender as a social construct guides social norms and relations, including the decision-making processes and mechanisms leading to migration. We recognize that the intersections between race, age, class, sex, caste and region shape the migrant experience.
IWMI strives to offer transformative approaches and solutions for women, youth and marginalized groups, regarding them as equal partners in our work rather than passive end-users. For example, within communities that experience male out migration, socio-political systems are restructured to make women, youth and other groups active agents in their own agri-food transformation. Migration patterns contribute to the feminization of agriculture, and women may experience a greater burden of responsibility coupled with an increased ability to access and control resources and policies to build sustainable livelihoods. Acknowledging social complexities helps researchers and communities understand migration trends and address structural power imbalances to build a more equitable world.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Farmer-led irrigation development is about much more than installing a pump in a field. It requires access to financing, labor, energy, and input and output markets, so that investments in irrigation translate into sustainable returns. IWMI uses a systemic approach to understand the farming system as well as the factors in the enabling environment that prevent women, men and youth from engaging in and benefitting equitably from farmer-led irrigation. We partner with farmers and the public and private sectors to test contextually relevant innovation bundles that combine irrigation technology such as solar pumps with financing mechanisms like pay-as-you-own or pay-as-you-go, agricultural inputs and agronomic techniques. We also look at ways to improve on-farm water management and nutrient use efficiency and reduce evapotranspiration through digital advances and agricultural extension. We integrate the scaling of innovation bundles into agricultural value chains to enhance the impacts on farmers’ irrigation investments, incomes and livelihoods.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Gender and social inclusion
The barriers facing women and men in accessing irrigation technologies are not the same. Neither are the benefits. Social, cultural and religious norms influence inter- and intra-household power relations. These, in turn, affect access to resources such as land, credit, information and training. IWMI carries out cross-dimensional analysis of gender and social inclusion in policy, financing, livelihood assets and access, institutional approaches and interventions as well as gender-based technology preferences. For example, we work with farmers, financial institutions and the private sector to address gender-based constraints in credit scoring and enhance women’s purchasing power. But benefitting from farmer-led irrigation does not stop at accessing and adopting technologies; enabling women and resource-poor farmers to participate in input and output markets is equally important to ensure that investments in irrigation result in improved nutrition and economic empowerment. Other ways we enhance gender and social inclusion include tackling agency issues around financial management and literacy, livelihood diversity and social capital as well as access to infrastructure, extension services and market linkages.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Population pressure and increasing water competition in a changing climate require us to take stock of the availability and use of water across scales. Water availability not only influences farmers’ commercial prospects but also irrigation-related enterprises and agri-businesses. Greater water scarcity could jeopardize irrigation and agricultural markets while excessive water use can lead to declining ecosystems, water quality and soil health. IWMI advises development partners and the public and private sectors on all aspects of water resource availability and use through a variety of advanced modeling and remote-sensing products and tools, including Water Accounting+, solar irrigation mapping and internet of things. These are complemented by multi-criteria analysis to evaluate the potential of irrigation expansion, taking into consideration environmental flows. With our private sector partners, we are leveraging converging technologies, such as sensors on solar pumps that capture usage data, to encourage better resource management and governance.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
Adaptive scaling and partnerships
The ability of farmers to engage in or expand irrigation depends on the prevailing socioeconomic, ecological and political contexts, which are often complex, non-linear and changeable. Overcoming systemic barriers to farmer-led irrigation development while taking advantage of existing opportunities requires scaling processes to be adaptive. This means diverse actors feed off, adapt to, support, cooperate, compete and interact with each other, forming different multi-actor networks and engaging in collective action to undertake various functions in the scaling ecosystem. IWMI works with farmers and public and private sector partners to co-design and pilot contextually relevant innovation bundles and their scaling pathways or strategies, influence policies and accelerate the transition to scale of innovations with demonstrated early impact.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
A lack of affordable credit, particularly for women and resource-poor farmers, is one of the main barriers to expanding farmer-led irrigation in low- and middle-income countries. But credit alone is not enough. Financing for irrigation equipment must be embedded in a wider financing ecosystem that bundles credit with inputs and services, market information and access, and technology such as digital payment. In several countries, irrigation equipment suppliers are stepping in to provide financing directly to farmers. In doing so, they increase their own risk. To address this issue, IWMI works with farmers, private companies, finance institutions and development partners such as the World Bank Group to analyze whether credit-scoring tools are inclusive. We also help to identify gaps in the financing ecosystem and de-risk the private sector from testing innovative end-user financing mechanisms that take into account farming system typologies, financial and social capital and crop seasonality.
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:
This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas: