Saturday, May 25, 2013

Water's Not Complicated - It's Completely Complex

Global Water Forum
I have always known how complicated water management and water policy was, but this rendition is the straw that broke the camel's back for me.  It's completely off the charts.  Go ahead, take a look at it - I dare you!

If you're not going to bite, that link takes you to an article on UNESCO's Global Water Forum site where the topic is "International Water Politics".  More precisely it's an article by Dr. Daniel Connell, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, that asks the question of how should we even compare water management schemes across political, cultural and legal landscapes.  It's the 11th of 11 articles in a larger series that can be perused here.

I've read the entire article, although I've not read the entire series. Bottom line for Dr. Connell is that there are 20 benchmarks of a mature, auto-adaptive river basin organization to implementing effective integrated river basin management.  This list was first developed by Bruce Hooper, but Dr. Connell agrees with it.  Then he goes on to say that while you need most of these benchmarks to succeed, having all 20 is not a guarantee of success because there is some "it" factor also required - that relates to purely cultural values associated with an outcomes approach (or some such notion).     

I also gather that groundwater management would have a different list of required benchmarks, since all the articles in this series seem to be focused on river systems, but it's not really clear that it would.  And again, I admit to not reading the entire series yet.

Anyway, I'm glad these caliber of folks are discussing and writing about water management, but I have to say their reports and articles are plenty theoretical and I'm guessing they'll never get effectively implemented because they may be the only ones that fully grasp the ideas.

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