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Special Issue "Water Policy"

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A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Davide Viaggi (Website)

University of Bologna, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Viale Fanin, 50, 40127 Bologna, Italy
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

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water policies can be intended as mechanisms arranged to reach explicit goals, mainly by public bodies in charge of water management. Water policies play a major role as determinant of water use and resource management. As they determine the interplay between resource availability and deliberate human action, they are also central in the debate about water use.

This special issue 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 in particular economics, political science and social sciences. In this framework, high quality papers illustrating original research about the following issues are sought:

  • Experiences and open issues with recent regional policy approaches (e.g. water framework directive in EU countries).
  • Innovative policy instruments and mechanisms (water markets, auctions, pricing mechanisms).
  • 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 in the context of drought and climate change management, adaptation and response.
  • Water policy and wider economic and social issues (global economic networks, health, food security).
  • Water policy and institutional settings.

Dr. Davide Viaggi
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • policy design
  • policy instruments
  • pricing
  • water markets
  • water framework directive
  • incentives
  • policy evaluation

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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 [...] 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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)
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 [...] Read more.
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)
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 5 | 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 [...] Read more.
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)
Figures

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 1 | 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, [...] Read more.
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)
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 [...] Read more.
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)
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 2 | 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 [...] Read more.
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)
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
PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Policy)

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