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Towards a water governance index (WGI) for Andean micro-watersheds using pressure-state-response indicators and fuzzy logic system. Study case in Colombia

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
4. Water policy and governance


Keyword(s): water governance, index, pressure-state-response model, fuzzy logic, microwatershed Andean
Article: Oral:

Environmental indicators and indexes are essential tools for tracking environmental progress, supporting policy evaluation and informing the stakeholders. Decision makers need the appropriate indicators and indices to assess, track, and equitably weigh integrated human health, socio-economic, environmental, and ecological factors to foster sustainability in watershed and micro- watershed. The Andean region holds 9.5% of the world’s fresh water reserves and plays the pivotal role of providing water for the majority of South American watersheds. However, unsustainable practices such as overgrazing in the water recharging zones, deforestation, mining, deficiencies in practices agriculture, changes on the use land and climate changes, directly impact their surrounding environment and water resource. The purpose of this paper is presented a water governance index (WGI) for Andean micro-watershed with application in a micro- watershed in Colombia. 
The methodology used for build index, was a combination of pressure-state-response (PSR) indicators, logic fuzzy and management knowledge. The PSR model is based on the concept of causality: human activities exert pressures on the environment (pressure) and change its quality and quantity of natural resources (state). Society responds to these changes through environmental, general politics, economics and sectorial responses (response). Fuzzy logic is an artificial intelligence (AI) technique that tries to emulate human decision processes. Fuzzy sets can have a variety of shapes. However, for simplicity in the computation process and adequate representation of the expert knowledge, trapezoidal and triangular functions were defined in this study. Knowledge management describes the strategies and processes of acquiring, converting, applying, protecting and transferring knowledge to improve decisions. The index WGI was applied at the El Chocho micro-watershed in Colombia. This microcachment has suffered a huge environmental damage, as a consequence of the change in the use of the land, the increase of the population, the discharge of untreated domestic wastewater, the poor management of the solid wastes, and the discharge of the acid coal water. These circumstances generate different kind of conflicts, especially the access to the water, degrading uses of water and activities which affects the quantity and quality of water. Institutions which work in this area sometimes contribute with solutions, but sometimes make worse these problems.
As results of this research project were obtained the follows indicators. Three indicators of pressure were defined: water use conflicts, land use conflicts and population growth. Two indicators of state were defined: community participation and institutional coordination. Two indicators of response were defined: communication strategies and social participation, and council watershed with its own administrative system. To each indicator was defined a function of fuzzy logic. Through the combination of these indicators was defined the water governance index (WGI). ). To operate index were defined 207 decision rules. The index value was high in each zone: low, medium and high. These results indicate low level in water governance in this micro-watershed. This study indicates the possibility of building and applying an index of water governance to support management decision process in Andean watersheds. More applications are necessary to evaluate this index.
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