PAST RESEARCH

Water Security and Sustainable Development

The Future of Global Water Beyond 2020

Lead Researchers:Asit Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada

This project will specifically focus on how best water should be managed efficiently and equitably during the post-2020 period so that the solutions formulated are technologically feasible, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly. The main objective of the project is to assess the water futures of the world beyond 2020, based on the best scientific knowledge and professional expertise available at present from different parts of the world, different institutions, representing different disciplines, academia and the public and the private sectors. The collaborating institutions include the Alberta Research Council, Inter-Academy of Sciences of Canada, Asian Institute of Technology and others.

The project aims at a series of issue-specific and region-specific studies to be carried out by different groups of well-known international experts.

Related Events:

 

Dynamic Modeling of Water Policy

Lead Researchers:T S Gopi Rethinaraj and K E Seetharam

This is a teaching, research, and outreach initiative and aims to direct class room learning towards developing special skills for problem diagnosis and problem solving using computer-aided modeling and simulation. Research projects by faculty associates (including visiting scholars) and student researchers will examine problems relevant to water, energy, food, and climate interactions at sub-national, national, and regional levels using system dynamics framework.

 

Innovative Approaches to River Basin Management

Lead Researcher:Wu Xun

This project examines the roles of local, regional and national governments as well as international organizations in fostering integrated management for river basins. Through case study of selected river basins, we focus on the potential of several innovative approaches, such as water right trading and private sector participation, in overcoming typical barriers for integrated river basin management.

 

Cooperation on the Ganges: Myths, Obstacles and Opportunities

Lead Researchers:Wu Xun and Dale Whittington

The Ganges is the most populous river basin in the world and presents both great opportunities and great challenges for its 400 million inhabitants. It is fed by a complex interplay of glacial waters, surface flows and groundwater resources, and has massive potential for hydropower, agriculture, and navigation, among other areas. But the river is also immensely destructive and climate change is only likely to intensify the existing variability of hydrology in the region. Most critically, the massive potential for cooperation among key riparian countries sharing the Ganges has been largely untapped due to various historical, economic, political factors.

In recent years, efforts have been made by various government agencies and research organizations in the region and international organizations to examine the obstacles for cooperation and cooperative solutions for joint development in the Ganges based on systems approaches and evidence-based policy analysis. This project will bring together top researchers from India, Nepal and Bangladesh as well as experts from other countries to share their research findings in a workshop to be held in Singapore, with the aim to produce a special issue in water policy. A Call for Papers will be announced and disseminated, and a scientific committee will be formed to select participants of the workshop based on the quality of proposals and significance of contribution intended.

 

Key Lessons Learnt and Good Practices for Water Resource, Urban Water and Wastewater Management (2009)

Objectives:
Improve the likelihood of success in implementing water and wastewater projects, especially in Asia

Outcomes:
Research methodology for the evaluation of the current ADB Water Policy that frames ADB-funded water management projects in various countries
Pattern of achievements and challenges, success factors in recently completed water projects across Asia.
Presentation in SIWW 2009 and journal article to be published in IWA Water Policy

Relevance:
Identifies structural, macro and long term policy issues in the projects and the emerging global trends in water policy to advise updates to the ADB Water Policy.

Lead Researcher(s): Eduardo Araral, Wu Xun and Rita Padawangi

Related Events:

  • Key Lessons Learnt and Good Practices in Water Resource, Water, and Wastewater Management Presentation at the Asian Development Bank

Dynamic Modeling of Water Policy

Lead Researchers:T S Gopi Rethinaraj and K E Seetharam

This is a teaching, research, and outreach initiative and aims to direct class room learning towards developing special skills for problem diagnosis and problem solving using computer-aided modeling and simulation. Research projects by faculty associates (including visiting scholars) and student researchers will examine problems relevant to water, energy, food, and climate interactions at sub-national, national, and regional levels using system dynamics framework.

 

Strategies for Urban Drought Risk Management

Lead Researcher: Joost Buurman

Over the last decades, rapid urbanization and economic development has led to increased water demand of cities. Although agriculture is usually the first sector to suffer from a shortage of water, cities have also experienced significant losses due to droughts. Reducing urban economic and societal water shortage losses is said to require a move from reactive emergency management to proactive drought risk management. This ongoing study aims to explore how cities can do better in reducing the risk of water shortage due to drought.

The first part of the study consisted of developing a classification of drought measures in urban water supply systems and apply this classification to ten cities that recently faced a drought. Using the classification we find that cities use a relatively limited number and variety of measures. In general, we did not see a lack of proactive drought risk management in the studied cities, though many cities can do better in developing a robust drought risk management plan with a mix of measures from the different categories. The classification can provide inspiration for cities to consider different types of measures in order to reduce long-term water stress as well as limit the impact from extreme droughts, taking into account differences in drought characteristics, organizational/political context and climate conditions. A paper on this topic is currently under review. This part of the study was carried out in collaboration with Deltares, the Netherlands.

A finding from the first part of the study was that cities do not seem to use any socioeconomic measures for droughts (e.g. insurance, water pricing, taxation measures, direct income support), which are common for agricultural. Currently ideas are being developed to continue the research in this direction.