IWRA Question of the Year – What Wicked Problem Faces Water Quality Management Over the Next 20 Years❓

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Ignacio

IWRA kindly requests you to please keep your answers as short and as precise as possible.

 

 

 

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    NeilG

    Linkage of water quality and public health - Water quality deterioration from point and non-point sources continues to be a serious problem, especially from biological and chemical parameters. It is impossible to monitor and even characterize water quality adequately in all situations, and impacts on public health are not well understood or reported.

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    Bernard

    Valuing water as an economic resource in a developing economy: Any way forward? Failure to place natural waters at par with other precious economic resources remains an affliction in water security efforts in developing countries. The severity of this wicked threat is further aggravated by corresponding failure in water education. Urgent action is inevitable.

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    D.L. Marrin

    @Bernard - As a common resource, water has been undervalued in both developing and developed countries. Besides outdated management and economic policies, the common perception of water as just another commodity has contributed its current status worldwide. Water quality is a major impediment, not only to human and environmental health, but also to water scarcity as much of the water that is available is not appropriate for uses required by developing countries. In addition to being an water education issue, it is also an issue with regard to the ways that water is used to produce food and energy.

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    rosacam

    @NeilG - An important issue, it has a cost. How to pay for it? How to achieve better technologies than could attend this issue?

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    rosacam

    @Bernard - To access potable water has a cost. How to pay for it? The tariff should include the protection of watersheds and underground water.
    Also it is important to promote adequate technologies for waste disposal water, or promote technologies to use it.

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    Hua Xie

    @Bernard - While water quality degradation has become a global environmental problem, developing countries will probably be faced with more challenges in conserving quality of water environment. Faster population and economic growths are projected for developing countries. The famous Kuznets curve states that environmental/water quality in an economy tends to deteriorate until income per capita of the economy reaches certain level.

    Of course, the situations in different regions of developing world vary significantly. Take agricultural nutrient pollution as example. Severe nutrient pollution has been observed in some developing countries, such as China and India. Through introducing modern agricultural production technologies, notably the intensive use of fertilizers, China and India successfully intensified their food production system, but at expense of widespread water quality deterioration. On the other hand, in other regions of the developing world, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture hasn’t taken off or is taking off. It might be still possible for them to learn from other countries’ experience to protect their water environment from pollution during the course of economic development. This is a great challenge for water managers/policy makers in those regions and even in the whole international communities.

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    Carla_Toranzo

    A contribution from experiences in Latin American emerging countries, specifically the case of Peru

    The wicked problem is "bad management"; it´s critical and it´s getting worse, 3 of the main pillars of this problem are:

    1. Informality and lack of urban planning. Its consequence: a permanent generation of new houses in human settlements, houses without water or sanitation services. This situation has become the normal dynamic of the cities, mainly in the capital city, the mega-city of Lima*. This lack of water and sanitation services puts the health of the inhabitants of these homes, and of the citizens in general, at high risk.

    2. Lack of clarity in the functions and responsibilities of the several entities which are responsible of Water and Sanitation in the country, such as the City´s W&S utility, the National Water Authority, the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation, and the Ministry of Environment, among others.

    3. Lack of technical and financial capacities of the public sector to accomplish with efficiently meet the water and sanitation services for citizens. The sector has economic resources, the problem is that they take too much time to be used and are not used efficiently. Currently it is common to find water and sanitation civil works paralyzed due to management problems that culminate in legal problems.

    * Lima has the following water supply and sanitation characteristics: (a) the water supply network covers 80.6% of the population of Lima (around 10 million), leaving 19.4% of the population, mainly in the hilly parts of the town, without access to the drinking water network; (b) about 77% of the population is connected to the public sewer network; (c) only about 17% of the wastewaters receive some form of treatment; (d) the major part of wastewater is discharged either into the rivers or directly into the Pacific Ocean; and (e) only 5% of the treated wastewater is reused for irrigation (LIWA, 2016).

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    Sisira Withanachchi

    How do different set of laws and governance principles frame for an effective water quality governance?

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    Zharin fahra

    How to manage the water qulity and quantities in district nowhere, which is they not have any resource to manage all..
    Such as Awlr and the rain station..

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    M. Wajid Ijaz

    1) @Gabriel_Eckstein Nexus of public health, water quality and pharma industry will be challenging specially removal of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

    2) Depletion of surface water resources will lead to over exploitation of groundwater and/or seawater resources, in either case the safe and unhazardous disposal of rejected brackish water from any treatment facility (especially RO plants) is and will be one of the great determinant to water quality management.

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    Peter

    The possibility of heightened imbalances between development and water usage over the next 20 year. History has revealed how improvement in technologies and practices have affected water quality. Judging from that it is obvious that there would be new technologies, new practices in various sectors in the next decade and two, and without careful consideration of their effect on water, the problems remain irrepressibly worse in the future.

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    Dorice

    The wicked problem especially in developing countries is impunity leading to unregulated water service providers and vendors. You just don't know the quality of water!!!!

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    Malcolm Gander

    I would like to point out the problem of increasing reductions of available water for irrigation and groundwater supplies due to decreasing recharge, all brought about by Climate Change.

    Climate change continues to reduce:
    a) groundwater supplies, which accounts for about 45 percent of global drinking water, due to decreases in recharge; and
    b) irrigation water supplies, which accounts for about 70 percent of total global water withdrawals, due to decreases in mountain snowpack and shrinking glaciers (Union of Concerned Scientists 2018).

    Groundwater supply reductions are being caused by the increased occurrence of severe rainstorms, which results in more surface water runoff and less recharge to aquifers.
    In addition to decreased irrigation water supplies, year-over-year higher temperatures and short lived heat waves are resulting in increased irrigation water demand, even if total precipitation is unchanged over the course of a growing season (IPCC 2007).

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    Ramadan Marne

    human beings on earth planet see Water bodies as dumping sites.we have seen the level of pollution and contamination of sea water,lakes,streams and rivers by our daily activities.Also ,the ground is seen as a place where we can hide anything.those hidden things such as human bodies, feces in traditional pit latrines,pharmaceuticals wastes,buried wastes from oil,factories,industries end up contaminating our precious groundwater through seepage.For me,the wicked problem that faces the water quality management is the pollution and contamination of water resources by humans and the challenges of climate change which contribute to the diminishing water quality management.

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    Mihretab1

    In a developing country, the development of industries and agricultural practice imposes pollution on the water bodies. Even if there are initiatives underway to improve the water quality, the main constraint will be "The wicked water quality monitoring system".

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    Daru Nurisma Pramukti

    The wicked problem, especially in developing countries, is "public awareness and weak law enforcement regarding water resources". In the last 20 years, the habits and paradigms of society in maintaining water quality have changed. Stabilization of a country's government encourages the idea that sustainable management of water resources is the task of the government, it undermines public awareness in maintaining water quality, both surface and non-surface water. We understand that it is necessary to involve the community in managing water resources, for example in Indonesia having the Citarum River which was once the cleanest river, but in the last decade the dirtiest river due to the behavioral pattern of the community that the river is a very flexible dumping place, dumped into the river will be transported downstream (sea), the paradigm must be addressed.

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    JUAN BERMUDEZ

    In Spanish - UNO DE LOS PRINCIPALES PROBLEMAS ES EL CRECIMIENTO DEMOGRÁFICO QUE VIVIMOS, YA QUE CON EL AUMENTO EN LA DEMANDA DEL VITAL LIQUIDO LAS TECNOLOGÍAS ACTUALES SE VERÁN REBASADAS PARA ENFRENTAR LA CONTAMINACIÓN DE RÍOS Y EL TRATAMIENTO DE AGUAS RESIDUALES EN LA MAYORÍA DE LOS PUEBLOS Y CIUDADES

    In English - ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS IS THE DEMOGRAPHIC GROWTH WE LIVE IN, SINCE WITH THE INCREASE IN THE DEMAND OF THE VITAL LIQUID THE CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES WILL BE OVERLOADED TO DEAL WITH THE CONTAMINATION OF RIVERS AND THE TREATMENT OF WASTEWATER IN MOST CITIES AND SOCIETIES

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    Jessica Rodrigues

    Micropollutants in our waters, especially microplastic debris, antibiotics and steroid hormones , which can all harm micro-organisms even at trace concentrations.

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    Ray Earle, Iteland

    Coincident Climate Change, Economic, Financial and Overwhelming and Other Impossible to Predict Coincident Shocks and Accidents such Power Failure and loss of IoT capabilities—-- No Regrets or Bets Analysis and Modelling will not prepare us for this despite laudable UN-SDGs

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    Sofía E. Garrido Hoyos

    The lack of sustainable government, economic, educational and social policies to ensure the efficient management of water for human consumption from the point of view of quality and quantity, otherwise there is no solution to ensure this resource for the most needy.

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    Lilian del Castillo

    Generally speaking, in the domestic field water quality management faces lack of monitoring, law enforcement weakness and the reluctance of industrial, agricultural and household users to adopt water friendly practices, while in the transboundary field faces the lack of jurisdiction of national courts to address water quality issues from foreign sources.

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    NICOLAS PINEDA-PABLOS

    1. How to make effective and affordable the human right to water and sanitation in rural areas of developing countries?
    2. How to overcome patrimonialistic management of water services in non-democratic regimes?
    3. How to make agriculture use and pay for the treatment of urban wastwaters?

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    S. Nowicki

    How to communicate information on water quality and its consequences/meaning to users/consumers in a way that is understandable and useful despite the large uncertainties, expense and politics inherent in water quality testing.

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