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Topical Collection "Water Policy Collection"

A topical collection in Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Editors

Collection Editor
Prof. Dr. Giacomo Zanni

University of Ferrara, ENDIF - ENgineering Department In Ferrara, Via Saragat, 1 44100 Ferrara, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agricultural economics; environmental impact assessment in agriculture; innovation in agriculture
Collection Editor
Prof. Dr. Davide Viaggi

University of Bologna, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Viale Fanin, 50, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: agricultural policy evaluation; water policy; environmental impact assessment and resource economics; evaluation of technical change and innovation in agriculture and food; farm investment behaviour; land markets; public goods in agriculture and forestry
Collection Editor
Dr. Meri Raggi

University of Bologna, Department of Statistical Sciences, Via Belle Arti, 41, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sample theory; primary data collection; environmental impact assessment in particular referred to water resources; discrete choice model; monetary valuation of public goods (contingent valuation; choice experiments) principal-agent models, multivariate statistical methodologies

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water management is a key element for social and economic development. All over the world there is a growing need to build a capacity of integrated water management, to face human needs (drinking water, agriculture and food production), climate change, scarcity and drought, and to manage related local, national, and trans-boundary conflicts. Water policies can be intended as the mechanisms arranged to achieve these goals, mainly by public bodies in charge of water management. Over the past few decades, water policies have undergone significant changes, notably due to the development of political, social, and environmental issues, including globalization, trade liberalization, institutional and legal requirements, changing standards of living, management practices, and technological innovation. This evolution, not only requires a change in perspective, but also points to the need to study institutional innovations and economic evaluation instruments, able to better assess policy performance and provide evidence for improved design.

This special topic aims to encourage dialogue between researchers, policy makers and practitioners on the issue of improvement of water policy and related management practices, through an interdisciplinary perspective, including economics, political science and social sciences. In this context, high quality papers are sought illustrating original research about the following issues:

-       Case studies, experiences, and open issues with recent country/regional policy approaches (e.g. water framework directive in EU countries).

-       Innovative policy instruments and mechanisms (water markets, auctions, pricing mechanisms).

-       Innovative collective solutions for water management (e.g., collective reservoirs) and link to policy.

-       Linkage between consumer behavior and preferences, water use and management strategies, including the role of policy.

-       Connection with other scarce resource management (e.g., energy, nutrients) and related policies.

-       Water and the bioeconomy development.

-       Economics of water related innovation, in particular water treatment, re-use and information technology, and related role of policy.

-       Ex post and ex ante policy evaluation approaches, methods and tools, and their application to cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis of water policy measures.

-       Coordination between water policy and specific sector policies (e.g., agriculture, energy).

-       Water policy and viability of economic sectors in the context of drought and climate change.

-       Water policy and wider economic and social issues (global economic networks, health, food security).

-       Water policy and competitiveness.

-       Economic analysis of experiences and open issues with innovative management of water for crop production.

-       Water policy and institutional settings.

Papers focusing on cutting edge innovation in policy mechanisms and implementation strategies are especially encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Giacomo Zanni
Prof. Dr. Davide Viaggi
Dr. Meri Raggi
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts for the topical collection can be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on this website. The topical collection considers regular research articles, short communications and review articles. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • water policy design
  • policy instruments
  • policy evaluation
  • water framework directive
  • economic efficiency and productivity
  • water markets
  • pricing
  • incentives
  • climate change
  • innovation

Related Special Issues

Published Papers (24 papers)

2017

Jump to: 2016, 2014, 2013, 2011

Open AccessArticle Accomplishing Water Strategy Policies in Hospitals: The Role of Management Information Systems and Managerial Styles
Water 2017, 9(2), 107; doi:10.3390/w9020107
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hospitals are using more sophisticated and comprehensive management information systems to implement multiple strategic policies towards water cost saving and water quality enhancement. However, they do not always achieve the intended strategic goals. This paper analyzes how managerial styles interact with sophisticated management
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Hospitals are using more sophisticated and comprehensive management information systems to implement multiple strategic policies towards water cost saving and water quality enhancement. However, they do not always achieve the intended strategic goals. This paper analyzes how managerial styles interact with sophisticated management information systems to achieve different water strategic priorities. How proactive vs. reactive managerial styles moderate the effects of management information systems on water cost saving and water quality enhancement is analyzed. Relationships are explored using data collected from 122 general services directors in Spanish public hospitals. The findings show a positive effect of sophisticated management information systems on the achievement of water policies focused on cost saving and quality enhancement. Results also show a different moderated effect of managerial styles; thus, sophisticated management information systems with a proactive managerial style facilitate managers to achieve better water quality policies rather than water cost saving policies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Public Perception of and Participation in Non-Revenue Water Management in Malaysia to Support Urban Water Policy
Water 2017, 9(1), 26; doi:10.3390/w9010026
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 24 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
PDF Full-text (1473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In contextualising the serious water loss, inefficient resource utilization, and ineffective water utility management in Malaysia, the objective of this study is to understand the public’s perception of non-revenue water (NRW) management in order to provide policy inputs, and to determine ways to
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In contextualising the serious water loss, inefficient resource utilization, and ineffective water utility management in Malaysia, the objective of this study is to understand the public’s perception of non-revenue water (NRW) management in order to provide policy inputs, and to determine ways to improve public participation in NRW reduction. Findings reveal that there is currently only meagre public participation in NRW management in Malaysia, with a majority of the respondents demonstrating a lack of knowledge and awareness on NRW; over-dependence on water utility and government agencies in reducing NRW rates; and failure to submit a report when a leaking pipe is noticed. Educating the public on the importance of reducing NRW and promoting public interests and concerns around water tariffs, is essential to improve NRW reductions in Malaysia. Community-led strategies to better engage the public in addressing NRW-related issues have to be enhanced. To this end, concrete policy implications derived from the findings of the study are outlined. Full article
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2016

Jump to: 2017, 2014, 2013, 2011

Open AccessArticle Exploration of an Optimal Policy for Water Resources Management Including the Introduction of Advanced Sewage Treatment Technologies in Zaozhuang City, China
Water 2016, 8(12), 608; doi:10.3390/w8120608
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 19 December 2016 / Published: 21 December 2016
PDF Full-text (1503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water shortage and water pollution are important factors restricting sustainable social and economic development. As a typical coal resource-exhausted city and a node city of the South-to-North Water Transfer East Route Project in China, Zaozhuang City’s water resources management faces multiple constraints such
[...] Read more.
Water shortage and water pollution are important factors restricting sustainable social and economic development. As a typical coal resource-exhausted city and a node city of the South-to-North Water Transfer East Route Project in China, Zaozhuang City’s water resources management faces multiple constraints such as transformation of economic development, restriction of groundwater exploitation, and improvement of water environment. In this paper, we develop a linear optimization model by input–output analysis to study water resources management with the introduction of three advanced sewage treatment technologies for pollutant treatment and reclaimed water production. The simulation results showed that from 2014 to 2020, Zaozhuang City will realize an annual GDP growth rate of 7.1% with an annual chemical oxygen demand (COD) emissions reduction rate of 5.5%. The proportion of primary industry, secondary industry, and tertiary industry would be adjusted to 5.6%, 40.8%, and 53.6%, respectively. The amount of reclaimed water supply could be increased by 91% and groundwater supply could be decreased by 6%. Based on the simulation, this model proposes a scientific reference on water resources management policies, including water environment control, water supply plan, and financial subsidy, to realize the sustainable development of economy and water resources usage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Water Governance in Bangladesh: An Evaluation of Institutional and Political Context
Water 2016, 8(9), 403; doi:10.3390/w8090403
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water crises are often crises of governance. To address interrelated issues of securing access to sustainable sources of safe water for the world’s populations, scholar and practitioners have suggested fostering improved modes of water governance that support the implementation of integrated water resource
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Water crises are often crises of governance. To address interrelated issues of securing access to sustainable sources of safe water for the world’s populations, scholar and practitioners have suggested fostering improved modes of water governance that support the implementation of integrated water resource management (IWRM). Recently, implementation of an IWRM approach was announced as a target for achieving Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This study employs an analytical hierarchy process with a SWOT analysis to assess the current institutional and political context of water governance in Bangladesh and evaluate IWRM as a means to achieve the SDGs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measuring the Sustainability of Water Plans in Inter-Regional Spanish River Basins
Water 2016, 8(8), 342; doi:10.3390/w8080342
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
PDF Full-text (924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper analyses and compares the sustainability of the water plans in the Spanish River basins according to the objectives of the Water Framework Directive. Even though the concept of sustainability has been traditionally associated with the triple bottom line framework, composed of
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This paper analyses and compares the sustainability of the water plans in the Spanish River basins according to the objectives of the Water Framework Directive. Even though the concept of sustainability has been traditionally associated with the triple bottom line framework, composed of economic, environmental, and social dimensions, in this paper sustainability has been enlarged by including governance aspects. Two multicriteria decision analysis approaches are proposed to aggregate the sustainability dimensions. Results show that the environmental dimension plays the most important role in the whole sustainability (40%) of water basins, followed by both economic and social criteria (25%). By contrast, the dimension of governance is the least important for sustainability (11%). A classification of the Spanish basins according to their sustainability indicates that the water agency with the highest sustainability is Western Cantabrian, followed by Eastern Cantabrian and Tagus. By contrast, Minho-Sil, Jucar, and Douro are the least sustainable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Water Management Options for Rice Cultivation in a Temperate Area: A Multi-Objective Model to Explore Economic and Water Saving Results
Water 2016, 8(8), 336; doi:10.3390/w8080336
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the changing climatic and environmental conditions, modifications in agricultural and water policies have been made, and irrigated agriculture has to face the challenge of making a rational and optimal use of the water resource effectively available. This urges rice farming, strongly
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Due to the changing climatic and environmental conditions, modifications in agricultural and water policies have been made, and irrigated agriculture has to face the challenge of making a rational and optimal use of the water resource effectively available. This urges rice farming, strongly and traditionally linked to water, to change the modalities for the use of the resource. If on one hand water saving techniques should be preferred, a different water management in paddy fields may lead to lower yields and higher production costs, with consequent repercussions on farm incomes. The paper recognizes the disagreement between environmental and economic concerns and aims at contributing to the discussion about how to reconcile them by adopting alternative irrigation strategies. From this perspective, a multi-objective linear optimization model is used to explore the trade-offs between conflicting objectives in a rice-growing area in Northern Italy. The model returns the optimal allocation of land subject to three different irrigation strategies, as those previously performed in experimental fields; in addition, a scenario analysis is run to simulate reduced resource availability. Results demonstrate the key role of prioritizing one objective over the other, while introducing cultivars more suitable for dry cultivation enables enlarging the frontier of optimal solutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Extraction and Preference Ordering of Multireservoir Water Supply Rules in Dry Years
Water 2016, 8(1), 28; doi:10.3390/w8010028
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 9 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a new methodology of combined use of the nondominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II) and the approach of successive elimination of alternatives based on order and degree of efficiency (SEABODE) in identifying the most preferred multireservoir water supply rules in
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a new methodology of combined use of the nondominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II) and the approach of successive elimination of alternatives based on order and degree of efficiency (SEABODE) in identifying the most preferred multireservoir water supply rules in dry years. First, the suggested operation rules consists of a two-point type time-varying hedging policy for a single reservoir and a simple proportional allocation policy of common water demand between two parallel reservoirs. Then, the NSGA-II is employed to derive enough noninferior operation rules (design alternatives) in terms of two conflicting objectives (1) minimizing the total deficit ratio (TDR) of all demands of the entire system in operation horizon, and (2) minimizing the maximum deficit ratio (MDR) of water supply in a single period. Next, the SEABODE, a multicriteria decision making (MCDM) procedure, is applied to further eliminate alternatives based on the concept of efficiency of order k with degree p. In SEABODE, the reservoir performance indices and water shortage indices are selected as evaluation criteria for preference ordering among the design alternatives obtained by NSGA-II. The proposed methodology was tested on a regional water supply system with three reservoirs located in the Jialing River, China, where the results demonstrate its applicability and merits. Full article

2014

Jump to: 2017, 2016, 2013, 2011

Open AccessEditorial Changing Perspectives on the Economics of Water
Water 2014, 6(10), 2969-2977; doi:10.3390/w6102969
Received: 2 September 2014 / Revised: 24 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper provides an overview of the special issue on “Water policy, productivity and economic efficiency”. In particular, it includes an overview of key topics on the future of water as a productive factor, in the context of alternative uses and perspective scenarios.
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This paper provides an overview of the special issue on “Water policy, productivity and economic efficiency”. In particular, it includes an overview of key topics on the future of water as a productive factor, in the context of alternative uses and perspective scenarios. The selected papers cover a wide range of relevant economic issues and are presented in three categories: productivity assessment, institutional framework and mechanisms, and governance aspects. The paper concludes by discussing future research challenges in this field. Full article
Open AccessArticle Simulating Volumetric Pricing for Irrigation Water Operational Cost Recovery under Complete and Perfect Information
Water 2014, 6(5), 1204-1220; doi:10.3390/w6051204
Received: 30 January 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study evaluated the implementation of a volumetric and cost-recovery pricing method for irrigation water under symmetric information conditions without the inclusion of implementation costs. The study was carried out in two steps. First, a cost function was estimated for irrigation water supplied
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This study evaluated the implementation of a volumetric and cost-recovery pricing method for irrigation water under symmetric information conditions without the inclusion of implementation costs. The study was carried out in two steps. First, a cost function was estimated for irrigation water supplied by a water user association to a typical Mediterranean agricultural area, based on a translog function. Second, the economic impact of a pricing method designed according to this cost function was simulated using a mathematical programming territorial model for the same agricultural area. The outcomes were compared with those for the current pricing method. The impacts of this pricing method are discussed in terms of its neutral effects on total farm income and, conversely, the importance of the redistributive effects. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrated Groundwater Resources Management Using the DPSIR Approach in a GIS Environment Context: A Case Study from the Gallikos River Basin, North Greece
Water 2014, 6(4), 1043-1068; doi:10.3390/w6041043
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 27 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 24 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2963 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Gallikos River basin is located in the northern part of Greece, and the coastal section is part of a deltaic system. The basin has been influenced by anthropogenic activities during the last decades, leading to continuous water resource degradation. The holistic approach
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The Gallikos River basin is located in the northern part of Greece, and the coastal section is part of a deltaic system. The basin has been influenced by anthropogenic activities during the last decades, leading to continuous water resource degradation. The holistic approach of the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework was applied in order to investigate the main causes and origins of pressures and to optimize the measures for sustainable management of water resources. The major driving forces that affect the Gallikos River basin are urbanization, intensive agriculture, industry and the regional development strategy. The main pressures on water resources are the overexploitation of aquifers, water quality degradation, and decrease of river discharge. Recommended responses were based on the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000/60/EC, and sum up to rationalization of water resources, land use management and appropriate utilization of waste, especially so effluent. The application of the DPSIR analysis in this paper links the socioeconomic drivers to the water resource pressures, the responses based on the WFD and the national legislation and is as a useful tool for land-use planning and decision making in the area of water protection. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Input-Output Assessment of Water Productivity in the Castile and León Region (Spain)
Water 2014, 6(4), 929-944; doi:10.3390/w6040929
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The failure in the past to acknowledge the limits of water supply and to decouple economic development from water demand has resulted in a water dependent growth model currently threatened by increasing scarcity and droughts. Consequently, there is now an urgent need to
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The failure in the past to acknowledge the limits of water supply and to decouple economic development from water demand has resulted in a water dependent growth model currently threatened by increasing scarcity and droughts. Consequently, there is now an urgent need to use sparse water resources in a more sustainable and efficient way. This demands a comprehensive understanding of water productivity and the linkages among economic sectors to illustrate the tradeoffs in water reallocations from productive sectors to priority uses (household and urban uses). This paper develops a methodology based on the Hypothetical Extraction Method to estimate inter-temporal direct and indirect water productivity. The method is applied to the Spanish region of Castile and León. Results confirm the existence of a relevant water productivity gap between the agriculture (the largest water consumer) and that of the other sectors, which are nonetheless largely dependent on the agricultural output (and thus, on agricultural water demand). Results also show that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, say about 1%, results in an increase of indirect water productivity in the manufacturing blocks (0.49% and 0.38%), energy and water (0.39%) and service blocks (0.41%), providing evidence of the existence of a Verdoorn’s Law for water. Full article
Open AccessArticle Do Estimates of Water Productivity Enhance Understanding of Farm-Level Water Management?
Water 2014, 6(4), 778-795; doi:10.3390/w6040778
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 27 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Estimates of water productivity are appearing with increasing frequency in the literature pertaining to agronomy, water management, and water policy. Some authors report such estimates as one of the outcome variables of experiment station studies, while others calculate water productivities when comparing regional
[...] Read more.
Estimates of water productivity are appearing with increasing frequency in the literature pertaining to agronomy, water management, and water policy. Some authors report such estimates as one of the outcome variables of experiment station studies, while others calculate water productivities when comparing regional crop production information. Many authors suggest or imply that higher values of water productivity are needed to ensure that future food production goals are achieved. Yet maximizing water productivity might not be consistent with farm-level goals or with societal objectives regarding water allocation and management. Farmers in both rainfed and irrigated settings must address a complex set of issues pertaining to risk, uncertainty, prices, and opportunity costs, when selecting activities and determining optimal strategies. It is not clear that farmers in either setting will or should choose to maximize water productivity. Upon examining water productivity, both conceptually and empirically, using published versions of crop production functions, I conclude that estimates of water productivity contain too little information to enhance understanding of farm-level water management. Full article
Open AccessArticle Understanding Subjectivities in the Regulation of Local Water Services: A Q-Methodology Study of Elected Public Officers in Italy
Water 2014, 6(3), 670-693; doi:10.3390/w6030670
Received: 2 January 2014 / Revised: 9 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (775 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In sub-national governments, elected public officers can exercise considerable influence on the regulation of local water services, in such ways as, for example, contributing to the design of local regulatory institutions, to the formulation of tariff rules, and to the supervision of water
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In sub-national governments, elected public officers can exercise considerable influence on the regulation of local water services, in such ways as, for example, contributing to the design of local regulatory institutions, to the formulation of tariff rules, and to the supervision of water firms. Relatively little we know, however, about how elected public officers think about the regulation of local water services. This Q methodology study provides some evidence of the variety of opinions held on how local water services are delivered, how well they perform, and how they should be regulated among elected public officers in local governments in Italy. The study shows that the policy discourse on water regulation in Italy is highly fragmented into alternative and partially conflicting views. These findings bear some relevance for better understanding sources of stability and change of water regulatory regimes at the local level. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water Trading: Locational Water Rights, Economic Efficiency, and Third-Party Effect
Water 2014, 6(3), 723-744; doi:10.3390/w6030723
Received: 9 November 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rivers flow downstream and unidirectionally. However, this fact has not yet been utilized in the institutional design for water trading. By utilizing this characteristic, we first designed a water trading system of “locational water rights.” This new system is able to mitigate the
[...] Read more.
Rivers flow downstream and unidirectionally. However, this fact has not yet been utilized in the institutional design for water trading. By utilizing this characteristic, we first designed a water trading system of “locational water rights.” This new system is able to mitigate the return flow-related and instream flow-related third-party effects of volumetric reliability from water transfers. We provided mathematical proof of its economic efficiency. We then applied this water trading system to the case of the Choushui River basin in Taiwan. In this area, agriculture is highly developed while domestic and industrial water demands have increased rapidly. Using an agent-based model simulation, we estimated the potential economic benefits of implementing the system of locational water rights in the Choushui River basin. Full article
Open AccessArticle Inexact Mathematical Modeling for the Identification of Water Trading Policy under Uncertainty
Water 2014, 6(2), 229-252; doi:10.3390/w6020229
Received: 24 October 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (676 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, a two-stage inexact credibility-constrained programming (TICP) method is developed for identifying the efficiency of water trading under multiple uncertainties. TICP can tackle uncertainties expressed as probabilistic distributions, discrete intervals and fuzzy sets. It can also provide an effective linkage between
[...] Read more.
In this study, a two-stage inexact credibility-constrained programming (TICP) method is developed for identifying the efficiency of water trading under multiple uncertainties. TICP can tackle uncertainties expressed as probabilistic distributions, discrete intervals and fuzzy sets. It can also provide an effective linkage between the benefits to the system and the associated economic penalties attributed to the violation of the predefined policies for water resource allocation. The developed TICP method is applied to a real case of water resource allocation management and planning in the Kaidu-kongque River Basin, which is a typical arid region in Northwest China. Different water resource allocation policies based on changes to the water permit and trading ratio levels are examined. The results indicate that the efficiencies of water trading are sensitive to the degrees of satisfaction (i.e., interval credibility levels), which correspond to different water resource management policies. Furthermore, the comparison of benefits and shortages between trading and non-trading schemes implies that trading is more optimal and effective than non-trading. The results are helpful for making decisions about water allocation in an efficient way and for gaining insight into the tradeoffs between water trading and economic objectives. Full article

2013

Jump to: 2017, 2016, 2014, 2011

Open AccessArticle An Assessment of Disproportionate Costs in WFD: The Experience of Emilia-Romagna
Water 2013, 5(4), 1967-1995; doi:10.3390/w5041967
Received: 17 September 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (576 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study develops a methodology for the assessment of disproportionate costs according to the Water Framework Directive guidelines. The originality of the approach lies in the focus on the interdependencies between water bodies and the consideration of the multiple interactions between measures and
[...] Read more.
This study develops a methodology for the assessment of disproportionate costs according to the Water Framework Directive guidelines. The originality of the approach lies in the focus on the interdependencies between water bodies and the consideration of the multiple interactions between measures and pressures. However, the broad architecture of the study fits into a wider assessment procedure, already developed in recent studies. Specifically, a cost effectiveness analysis, implemented to select an efficient combination of measures, is integrated with a cost benefit analysis, which allows for the evaluation of the economic feasibility of the proposed actions. This methodology is applied to the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy). In spite of the uncertainties in the estimations of costs and benefits, the study enables the identification of areas where disproportionate costs are more likely to occur. The results show that disproportionality tends to increase from foothill regions, where most of the functional uses of regional water resources are found, to plain areas, where the sources of pressure tend to be located. Finally, the study offers policy direction for the selection of measures in the case study region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pricing Policies in Managing Water Resources in Agriculture: An Application of Contract Theory to Unmetered Water
Water 2013, 5(4), 1502-1516; doi:10.3390/w5041502
Received: 15 July 2013 / Revised: 5 September 2013 / Accepted: 16 September 2013 / Published: 27 September 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper explores how agricultural water pricing could contribute to lowering water demand when uses are unobserved (asymmetric information). The topic of the paper is justified by the fact that most water authorities worldwide do not control water uses at the farm scale.
[...] Read more.
The paper explores how agricultural water pricing could contribute to lowering water demand when uses are unobserved (asymmetric information). The topic of the paper is justified by the fact that most water authorities worldwide do not control water uses at the farm scale. The study draws inspiration from the pricing policies of a Reclamation and Irrigation Board in Northern Italy. It analyses the optimal design of current tariff strategies with respect both to the actual regulator’s goals and the cost recovery objective of an ideal regulator driven by European Water Framework Directive principles and having full information. The analysis is based on the logic of a Principal-Agent model implemented as a mathematical non-linear programming model. Given the current pricing structure and assuming zero transaction costs, the results show a relevant increase in net benefits for the ideal scenario with respect to the actual one as water use costs increase. Benefits differences between the two scenarios mark a limit in value below which mechanisms able to solve the existing asymmetries between the principal and the agents are economically desirable. The study concludes by showing that the current regulator’s discriminatory strategy (pricing structure) would be better justified with higher levels of cost for water use. However, the existence of non-zero transaction costs related to the control of water uses points to the need for further research in order to analyze incentive mechanisms in the absence of water metering. Full article

2011

Jump to: 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013

Open AccessArticle Explaining Non-Take-up of Water Subsidy
Water 2011, 3(4), 1174-1196; doi:10.3390/w3041174
Received: 10 March 2011 / Revised: 9 July 2011 / Accepted: 9 December 2011 / Published: 16 December 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (443 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We use two separate quasi-natural experiments to explore the relative importance of information and administrative costs in explaining non-take-up of water subsidy. The first “experiment” shows that the take-up rate of a household with lower administrative costs is not significantly different from otherwise
[...] Read more.
We use two separate quasi-natural experiments to explore the relative importance of information and administrative costs in explaining non-take-up of water subsidy. The first “experiment” shows that the take-up rate of a household with lower administrative costs is not significantly different from otherwise identical households. In contrast, using the same program, the second “experiment” reveals that the take-up rate of a household that is more likely to be informed is substantially higher compared to otherwise identical households. These findings support the idea that information plays a major role in explaining non-take-up of water subsidy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Profitability of Nitrification Inhibitors for Abatement of Nitrate Leaching on a Representative Dairy Farm in the Waikato Region of New Zealand
Water 2011, 3(4), 1031-1049; doi:10.3390/w3041031
Received: 11 August 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 1 November 2011 / Published: 11 November 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (349 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Direct policies for the management of nonpoint source pollution are difficult to apply given asymmetric information, spatial and temporal variability, and uncertainty. There is increasing awareness that these limitations may be overcome where profitable mitigation practices are broadly adopted by polluters. Nitrification inhibitors
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Direct policies for the management of nonpoint source pollution are difficult to apply given asymmetric information, spatial and temporal variability, and uncertainty. There is increasing awareness that these limitations may be overcome where profitable mitigation practices are broadly adopted by polluters. Nitrification inhibitors (chemicals applied to paddocks that retard the nitrification process in soils) are a rare example of a mitigation practice that reduces pollutant loads and potentially increases farm profit through promoting pasture production. This study investigates their capacity to achieve both goals to inform policy makers and producers of their potential for simultaneously improving farm profit and water quality. With an assumed 10 percent increase in pasture production in response to nitrification inhibitor application, nitrification inhibitors are a profitable innovation because greater pasture production supports higher stocking rates. Nonetheless, their overall impact on farm profit is low, even when the cost of inhibitors or their impact on subsequent pasture production is substantially altered. However, inhibitors are found to be a critical mitigation practice for farmers posed with decreasing leaching loads to satisfy regulatory requirements. These findings suggest that, despite their shortcomings for nonpoint pollution regulation, direct policies appear to be the only way to motivate producers to account for their impact on environmental values given the current lack of profitable mitigations. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Importance of Institutional Asymmetries to the Development of Binational Aquifer Assessment Programs: The Arizona-Sonora Experience
Water 2011, 3(3), 949-963; doi:10.3390/w3030949
Received: 31 May 2011 / Revised: 31 August 2011 / Accepted: 9 September 2011 / Published: 23 September 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Setting water policy depends fundamentally on the location of the supply and demand for water and the legal/institutional framework for water management. Within and across nations, laws and structures for water management decision making vary, often significantly. Recognizing these differences can aid in
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Setting water policy depends fundamentally on the location of the supply and demand for water and the legal/institutional framework for water management. Within and across nations, laws and structures for water management decision making vary, often significantly. Recognizing these differences can aid in overcoming challenges inherent to the assessment and management of transboundary waters. This paper examines current binational efforts to develop the scientific information to support water management decision making along the United States-Mexico border. The particular focus is on transboundary aquifers along the border shared by the states of Arizona in the United States and Sonora in Mexico. Legislation enacted in the United States (Public Law 109–448) established a governmental-academic partnership to assess transboundary aquifers. The paper discusses the establishment of a working partnership between Mexico and the United States, which led to an official binational cooperative framework for transboundary assessment. It explains how the extensive effort to recognize and accommodate asymmetries in the underlying legal and regulatory frameworks for water management was essential to meeting the objectives of both countries. The focus of the binational investigations is briefly discussed. The paper concludes by noting the opportunities for additional cross-border scientific and water management collaboration should funding and institutional commitments continue. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Economic Effects of Legislative Framework Changes in Groundwater Use Rights for Irrigation
Water 2011, 3(3), 906-922; doi:10.3390/w3030906
Received: 23 May 2011 / Revised: 23 August 2011 / Accepted: 30 August 2011 / Published: 19 September 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In most countries, groundwater resource is a public good, and the entitlement of use rights by the public authority to final users differs according to a country-specific legislative framework. In Italy, groundwater extraction has been regulated through non-tradable private licenses. At present, the
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In most countries, groundwater resource is a public good, and the entitlement of use rights by the public authority to final users differs according to a country-specific legislative framework. In Italy, groundwater extraction has been regulated through non-tradable private licenses. At present, the public authority needs to reform the current legislative framework, in order to comply with the Water Framework Directive, aimed at the enhancement of the efficiency of the resource use. This research analyzes the effects of reforming the current framework based on non-tradable use rights, by comparing two different liberalization scenarios: an intra-sector market, and a regional market. Although positive economic benefits are generally expected from the liberalization of use rights at aggregated level, we want to analyze whether effects of the legislative framework causes uneven changes on some farm groups. The empirical case study refers to the Fortore river basin (South of Italy), where groundwater covers about 50–80% of current needs, and informal (though illegal) water markets across neighbor farmers already exist. From the findings, there is no evidence that the exchange liberalization of groundwater use rights leads to gains in terms of the value added and the farmer’s revenue. In addition, in the case of an auction system regulated by the public authority, farmers whose water productivity is higher may be able to gain, while others may suffer some losses. In this case, resistances from farmers’ associations towards the legislative framework reform may arise. Full article
Open AccessArticle Participatory Approach for Integrated Basin Planning with Focus on Disaster Risk Reduction: The Case of the Limpopo River
Water 2011, 3(3), 737-763; doi:10.3390/w3030737
Received: 15 April 2011 / Revised: 4 May 2011 / Accepted: 22 May 2011 / Published: 29 June 2011
PDF Full-text (4076 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper defends the idea that a participatory approach is a suitable method for basin planning integrating both water and land aspects. Assertions made are based on scientific literature review and corroborated by field experience and research carried out in the Limpopo River
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This paper defends the idea that a participatory approach is a suitable method for basin planning integrating both water and land aspects. Assertions made are based on scientific literature review and corroborated by field experience and research carried out in the Limpopo River basin, a transboundary river located in southern Africa which is affected by periodical floods. The paper explains how a basin strategic plan can be drafted and disaster risk reduction strategies derived by combining different types of activities using a bottom-up approach, despite an institutional context which operates through traditional top-down mechanisms. In particular, the “Living with Floods” experience in the lower Limpopo River, in Mozambique, is described as a concrete example of a disaster adaptation measure resulting from a participatory planning exercise. In conclusion, the adopted method and obtained results are discussed and recommendations are formulated for potential replication in similar contexts of the developing world. Full article
Open AccessArticle Generic Modelling of Faecal Indicator Organism Concentrations in the UK
Water 2011, 3(2), 682-701; doi:10.3390/w3020682
Received: 4 May 2011 / Revised: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 20 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To meet European Water Framework Directive requirements, data are needed on faecal indicator organism (FIO) concentrations in rivers to enable the more heavily polluted to be targeted for remedial action. Due to the paucity of FIO data for the UK, especially under high-flow
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To meet European Water Framework Directive requirements, data are needed on faecal indicator organism (FIO) concentrations in rivers to enable the more heavily polluted to be targeted for remedial action. Due to the paucity of FIO data for the UK, especially under high-flow hydrograph event conditions, there is an urgent need by the policy community for generic models that can accurately predict FIO concentrations, thus informing integrated catchment management programmes. This paper reports the development of regression models to predict base- and high-flow faecal coliform (FC) and enterococci (EN) concentrations for 153 monitoring points across 14 UK catchments, using land cover, population (human and livestock density) and other variables that may affect FIO source strength, transport and die-off. Statistically significant models were developed for both FC and EN, with greater explained variance achieved in the high-flow models. Both land cover and, in particular, population variables are significant predictors of FIO concentrations, with r2 maxima for EN of 0.571 and 0.624, respectively. It is argued that the resulting models can be applied, with confidence, to other UK catchments, both to predict FIO concentrations in unmonitored watercourses and evaluate the likely impact of different land use/stocking level and human population change scenarios. Full article
Open AccessArticle Managing Water Supply through Joint Regional Municipal Authorities in Finland: Two Comparative Cases
Water 2011, 3(2), 667-681; doi:10.3390/w3020667
Received: 16 May 2011 / Revised: 23 May 2011 / Accepted: 2 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to analyze two Finnish Joint Regional Authorities for Water Supply—namely the Raisio-Naantali Joint Municipal Authority for Water Supply (established in 1957) and the Tuusula Region Joint Municipal Authority for Water Supply (established in 1967)—for assessing the development
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The aim of this paper is to analyze two Finnish Joint Regional Authorities for Water Supply—namely the Raisio-Naantali Joint Municipal Authority for Water Supply (established in 1957) and the Tuusula Region Joint Municipal Authority for Water Supply (established in 1967)—for assessing the development of supra-municipal water governance. The above two cases make it possible to analyze and assess water policies in settings where the owners are groups of municipalities. The analysis is based on two separately conducted case studies. The study data consist of several types of materials: Annual reports, local government documents, etc. The conducted interviews were semi-structured with some themes defined beforehand. The studies describe two authorities in the context of historical development and as a part of local development. Full article

Submitted Abstracts

Title: Urban Water Investments in Africa: Trends and Challenges with Public-Private Partnerships
Authors:
Hany Besada and Cristina D’Alessandro
Abstract:
Despite the efforts and progress made to achieve the 7th Millennium Development Goal (MDG7) in ensuring access to portable water and sanitation to all, urban water utilities are still deficient in many African contexts. Public-private partnerships (PPP) for urban water utilities and sanitation are proliferating in developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This proposed paper aims to investigate this current debate and trend in developing financing, going back to the 1990s, especially in relation to the recent involvement of emerging countries. Results and success will be highlighted, but doubts and criticisms about the effectiveness of these projects will be also taken into account, as well as concerns about the lack of objective performance data.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Socio-Psychological Perspectives on the Potential for Serious Games to Promote Transcendental Values in IWRM Decision-Making
Authors: Wietske Medema, Dianna Marini and Jan Adamowski
Abstract: Modern day challenges of water resource management involve difficult decision-making in the face of increasing complexity and uncertainty.  However, even if all decision-makers possessed perfect knowledge, water management decisions ultimately involve competing values, which will only get more prominent with increasing scarcity and competition over resources. Therefore, an important normative goal for water management is the long-term cooperation between stakeholders. According to principles of integrated water resource management (IWRM), this necessitates that managerial decisions support social equity and intergenerational equity (social equity that spans generations). The purpose of this review is to formulate preliminary recommendations for the design of serious games (SGs), a potentially valuable learning tool that can give rise to shared values and engage stakeholders with conflicting interests to cooperate towards a common goal. Specifically, this discussion explores whether SG could promote values that transcend the self-interest (transcendent values) based on the contributions of social psychology. The discussion is organized in the following way. First, reasons are provided for why understanding values from psychological perspectives is both important for water management and a potential avenue for learning in SG. Second, the description of values and mechanisms of value change from the field of psychology is presented. Third, the key psychological constraints to learning or applying values are highlighted. Fourth, recommendations are made for SG designers to consider when developing games for water management, to promote transcendental values. Overall, the main conclusions from exploring the potential of value change for IWRM through SG design are that: 1- SG design needs to consider how all values change systematically; 2- SG design should incorporate the many value conflicts that are faced in real life water management; 3- SG could potentially promote learning by having players reflect on the reasoning behind value priorities across water management situations; 4- intergroup conflict is an important barrier to value change in water management, and that this can be further explored in SG, and 5- value change ought to be tested in an iterative SG design process using Schwartz’s Value Survey (SVS) survey.

Title: Temporal Variability of the Irrigation Demand of Onion Crops with Predicted Climate Change
Authors: Jana Zinkernagel and Nadine Schmidt
Abstract: Predicted climate change will affect agricultural water resources. Particularly vegetable crops will be concerned due to high water demand and high vulnerability to water scarcity. Present vegetable production already requires irrigation water. To assess future irrigation demand, the impact of climate change needs to be revealed region- and crop-specifically. For robust predictions, a wide range of scenarios has to be simulated using different climate models. The aim of this study is to evaluate the climate change impact on the water availability and irrigation demand of onion crops cultivated in a German model region. Focus is on crop-specific climatic water balance, considering soil characteristics and temperature-driven plant growth. Thus simulated irrigation demand differs between four climate models. However, in all scenarios climate parameters indicate increasing water demand until 2100.
Keywords: climate change; policy instruments; irrigation; vegetable crops; climatic water balance

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