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Water governance David L. Feldman Professor and Chair, Department of Planning, Policy and Design School of Social Ecology June 25, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Water governance David L. Feldman Professor and Chair, Department of Planning, Policy and Design School of Social Ecology June 25, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water governance David L. Feldman Professor and Chair, Department of Planning, Policy and Design School of Social Ecology June 25, 2013

2 What is water governance? In democracies, decisions regarding how water is managed, by whom, and through what methods, is supposed to be based on popular consent. Achieving consent depends on five criteria: – Long term aspirations for community growth and development – Power and control over water sources – Perceived and actual risks from various water management options – Public trust and confidence in how water is managed – Inclusiveness of decisions – who weighs and decides upon options

3 Long term community aspirations – Los Angeles In early 20 th century, LA’s population doubled every 10 years – Los Angeles River was no longer an adequate water source. Civic leaders sought reliable sources whose rights they could easily obtain – Owens Valley was surveyed, land and water rights secretly acquired. Problems? Whose economic development aspirations should prevail? How should decisions over allocation be made – openly, or in secret? How much water was needed for LA vs. Owens Valley, the environment? JP Lippincott, Fred Eaton, William Mulholland – c. 1910 Los Angeles Aqueduct dynamited - 1927

4 Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times May 16, 2009 In the Owens Valley, resentment again flows with the water LA's Department of Water and Power is prospecting again for land and water rights in the valley. Unlike past battles, the focus is on real estate locals say is needed for commerce along Highway 395. This is sparking tense disputes among residents over the agency's influence on their economic stability. Unlike previous battles … which focused on the environmental and economic damage caused by L.A.'s pumping of local water supplies, the current campaign seeks to break the agency's grip on land the locals say is needed for commerce, hospitals, parking and affordable housing along a 112-mile stretch of Highway 395 east of the Sierra Nevada. "I understand their sentiments" and "I'm open to having conversations" about releasing property, DWP General Manger David Nahai said in an interview. But he also pointed out that three years of drought, cutbacks instate water allocations and rationing and its $500-million dust-mitigation project at Owens Lake have left the agency trying to cope with "a seriously overburdened water supply.”

5 This family – in Orange, CA – had a water bill of $160/every 2 months; used 300,000 gal/year; after removing lawn, 58,000 gal/year. City officials appreciated the conservation, but had rules regarding ground cover – “don’t want just dirt for a front yard,” one official said. this is an urban planning challenge City council has revised ordinance requiring 40% live ground cover – must be attractive and within community standards – this is an urban planning challenge. Urban design, water, community expectations – another case The Water Conservation in Landscaping Act of 2006 (AB 1881) requires CA Energy commission to adopt regulations that impose performance standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment (e.g., irrigation controllers, moisture sensors, emission devices, valves) to reduce the wasteful water consumption. What if someone exceeds the requirements?

6 Historic approach – hard power: – Began with “hydraulic societies” of antiquity – Employed large public works to promote economic growth – Responded to drought, flooding through large structural measures More recent approach – soft power: – Seeks sustainability – balancing environment and development – Emphasizes participation, negotiation, local knowledge, stewardship – Resilience against climate change, growth through adaptive management Power and control of water

7 Power and control in antiquity (Egypt c. 2000 B.C.) Centralized control and allocation Regimentation and orderly management Preoccupation with food production, river management

8 El Acueducto del Aguila – moved water from Nerja to Maro Rome – water, power, and control in pre-modern Europe Segovia Acueducto – built 1 st Century A.D, in use today Diverting water great distances enabled cities and colonies to grow; connected territory Enabled development of agriculture and trade Who got water, how they used it, a contested issue “It is plain... how much more our forefathers cared for the general good rather than private luxury, inasmuch as even the water which private parties used was made to serve the public interest.” - Sextus Julius Frontinus, Water Supply supervisor, City of Rome (AD 97).

9 2012 State Department report predicted conflict in Mideast, Africa, Asia over water. By 2040, flooding, drought, pollution will create instability, regional tension; hinder food and energy production. Absence of credible, trans-national means to settle disputes a continuing challenge. Water and national security – where power and control can fail

10 Soft power and collaboration – Nigeria Drought, flooding recurrent problems in Hadejia-Jama’are basin – residents rely on subsistence farming, fishing. In 1970s two major dams built for irrigation, flood control – caused “cascading” impacts; siltation, flooding, clogging of streams, erosion – a mess! 2002 – World Conservation Union, UK, Nigeria established Joint Wetlands Livelihood to: Preserve existing floodplains for farming, grazing, fishing. Provide local level forums to allow residents to participate in decisions.

11 Watershed management “game” – farmers serve as students, role-play solutions to local problems – Break-out discussions – comparing solutions and reaching accord – JWL Hadejia office, Dauchi, Nigeria. Session 1 – brainstorm methods to maintain income and production with less water. Session 2 – prioritize methods by voting – results become basis for by-laws to be followed by farmers. Session 3 – discuss how institutions should assist in conflict resolution, provide additional information, support agreements. Session 4 – review, reflect, conduct evaluation and specify actions. Empowerment via soft power – a model for governance?

12 Likely future Source: California Water Plan Update, (CA DWR) Perceived & actual risks – water supply options

13 Burden of impact Characterization of hazard Nature of conflictExamples of disputes Traditional notion of environmental justice & water Risk of water quality/quantity that are potentially high-consequence; fall on poor, women, minorities Threaten human health/well-being - environmental pollutants/toxic wastes, reduce in-stream flow; remediation Acute, short term impacts; high- intensity social protest; violent demonstrations Dam-building, inter-basin diversion; massive pollution spills (e.g., Owens Valley; Hinkley) Newer idiom of environmental justice & water Risk of water problems potentially high consequence/high uncertainty; e.g., climate change Broader welfare issues at stake - cost, affordability, access, actions to address/repair legacy important Lower-intensity; social protest may occur, but problems viewed as long-term & chronic Waste-water re-use; desalination; involuntary conservation measures; privatizing supply Feldman, David. 2011. “Integrated Water Management and Environmental Justice - Public Acceptability and Fairness in Adopting Water Innovations,” Water Science and Technology 11 (2): 135- 141. Risk, water governance, and environmental justice

14 Source: California Desalination Planning Handbook, CA DWR, 2008 Desalination In California – an example of risk management Prop. 50 (2005) provides funding for feasibility studies; pilot projects; support for building full-scale facilities – goal? Provide 5- 10% of state’s freshwater via desalination by 2030. Protagonists must assess ecological, public health, population growth, energy use, land use, other impacts.

15 Desalination as governance challenge Poseidon Resources is building a $950 million desalination plant near Carlsbad. Goal: by 2016 produce 50 million gallons/ day; serve 300,000 people. Specific issues: – Public bonds will pay for a private investment – Project uses 33 MW, enough for 80,000 homes – Where/how brine will be disposed unclear, as are marine life impacts – Cost of product water is $2000/acre-foot – Statewide application unclear Globally, desalination seems most popular in regions with high water demand, available energy supplies, few supply alternatives

16 Public trust & confidence – Australia World’s driest inhabited continent. 90% of 23 million inhabitants live in cities. Millennium Drought gravely affected SE region: – Reservoirs fell to 26% capacity, bush fires erupted. – Affected public attitudes toward climate change, drought, water conservation.

17 Southeast Australia – drought impacts

18 Optimizing choices, fostering trust What the public and local officials came up with! Public outreach to encourage household conservation – using water bills to show savings. Substitute low-quality treated water for non- potable needs. Capture storm-water runoff before contaminated by landscape. Reclaim wastewater. Create and sustain a culture of community engagement & innovation. Assessment? Public engagement and consensus energized officials to adopt a wide range of approaches to augment water supplies/improve drinking water productivity.

19 Achieving consensus – priorities emerging from public meetings

20 Public trust and confidence – some California examples GW recharge – Coachella Valley: Land use reforms Recharge easements Reclaim wastewater + GW recharge – Orange County: Education & outreach Water harvesting Irvine Ranch Service Area Residential Water Rates (Potable) Monthly water service charge $8.75 (up to a 1" meter) Tier Percent of Allocation Cost per ccf (i.e., 100 cubic feet) Commodity charge Low Volume0 - 40%$0.91 Base Rate41 - 100%$1.22 Inefficient101 - 150%$2.50 Excessive151 - 200%$4.32 Wasteful201+%$9.48 Conservation pricing – Irvine: Public outreach High-efficiency landscaping

21 LA’s tap is running dry – why not reclaim water? Most of Los Angeles’ water supply is imported: Three major sources have limited future capacity The fourth – recycled water use – could increase – but public opposition remains high Why? In parts of LA with environmental legacy issues (e.g., abandoned waste sites, contaminated groundwater) recycling arouses mistrust – is also viewed by some as subsidizing additional residential growth

22 Inclusiveness of decisions – Bolivia and privatization Conflicts over privatization of municipal supplies lasted a decade – 1995-2005. Issues? Foreign control – French-U.S consortium controlled all supplies Cost to consumers – rose nearly five- fold Local ratepayers excluded from decisions Cochabamba

23 China – inclusiveness and development Displaced family waiting for housing 2 million displaced; 1,500 cities, towns, villages inundated Numerous adverse environmental impacts Decisions made without consulting affected groups

24 Colorado River Compact (1922) – can inclusive decisions be made among states? Allocates water among upper and lower basins, and between 7 states & Mexico based on priority uses States were told that, given wide fluctuation in flow, US government would build dams to ensure priorities were met Colorado River now over-allocated; climate change will curtail supplies; without behavior change – brought about by including many voices – future needs will be inadequately met

25 Conclusions – future governance challenges? Acknowledging that decisions over water management made in one location may adversely affect users in another – inclusion. Admitting that no group has a monopoly of knowledge about water; groups define their needs differently – participation & trust. Emphasizing adaptive management: solutions that are small-scale, incremental, reversible if they fail – innovative risk management. Understanding that control over water must be tempered by fairness and accountability – sharing power.

26 An example of a future governance direction – Dublin principles Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development : (1992) 150 + countries met to discuss need for an ethically just global water policy. Major recommendations? – Freshwater is a finite, vulnerable resource, essential to life, development, environment – risks to its protection must be better assessed. – Water development & management should be based on a participatory approach, involving water users, planners, and policy-makers at all levels. – Women play a central role in provision, management, safeguarding of water and must have rights. – Water has an economic value in all its competing uses & should be recognized as an valuable good.


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