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The Use of Material Flow Analysis and Indicators for supporting enhanced water policy decisions

IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
4. Development of Water Resources and Infrastructure
Author(s): Lara Yacob

Keyword(s): material flow analysis, water scarcity, resilience, environmental policy

AbstractThe use of environmental and resource accounting tools have proliferated and are widely used both as messaging tools for the public to communicate impacts of consumption patterns and also as valuable indicators for supporting environmental policy making. These include ecological foot-printing, lifecycle analysis and material flow analysis among others. Of these material flow analysis (MFA) offers great potential to link with economic and social processes and therefore policy interventions. However, there is little consensus on how to use these tools at multiple spatial scales and what indicators to employ to assess sustainability and performance of the ecosystem. In addition to this, a greater understanding of how to apply tools such as MFA to have salience with policy-makers is needed. The paper explores the use of MFA in supporting better water management policies at the urban-regional level. This is a novel application of an increasingly important method of assessment for determining the resilience of urban-regions to water scarcity.
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