Water resources, in particular conventional rural water supply systems/sources are among the first to be impacted by climate variability. Accessibility to portable water in the sudano-sahelian part of Cameroon is a course for concern given that the population relies mainly on springs, wells and boreholes for the supply of potable water in rural areas.
The Drin River is a complex transboundary water system and a strategic developmental resource for its riparian states in South Eastern Europe.
China is at the heart of debates around the perceived trade-off between economic growth and environmental protection. Since the early 1990s, the country has experienced remarkable economic growth, lifting nearly 600 million people out of poverty and averaging a per capita GDP growth rate of 8.9%. The question of how to release water to growing urban areas and industries while continuing to increase farm production and rural incomes is therefore something of a political headache.Since 2000, the government’s desire to build an ‘ecological civilization’ has meant greater integration of economic development, environmental protection and poverty reduction in the country’s most important national planning documents and policy agendas. Promoting more efficient agricultural water use can encourage economic growth and is a good investment. China’s success in releasing water from its agricultural sector has allowed its industry and services to use the water saved to grow.
Uneven geographical distribution, coupled with pressures from rapid population growth, increased urbanization, industrialization and environmental degradation, is a big challenge to the sustainable development of Uganda’s freshwater resources. However, the policy and institutional framework has advanced over the past two decades in Uganda. The policy and legal reform process started with the introduction of the Water Act (1995) and the Uganda Water Action Plan (1995). Other key policies included the National Water Policy (1999) and the Local Government Act (1997, 2000). A key Lesson learnt is that political support matters in achieving success, as does the nature and logic of the political system. In Uganda, political prioritization of water and poverty was central to progress. The depth and longevity of sector reform relies on political support, which can ebb and flow.
The Upper Mur River is considered as one of the most ecologically valuable rivers of Austria due to the natural reproduction for the Danube salmon. The systematic regulation of the river began at the end of the 19th century, distributaries were cut off and large areas were drained in order to intensify agricultural land use. Restoration measures started in 1997 in the area of the Upper Mur and the “Grenzmur”. Various projects facilitated the renaturation of more than 22 km both in the upper course and the Slovenian border section of the river. A policy issue highlighted by the project is the importance to reconcile key needs for nature conservation with demands for renewable energy generation from small hydro power plants.
The beauty and wilderness of Danube floodplains was continuously deteriorated by human impacts. Construction of the Gabcikovo water dam caused direct clearance of minimum 2,500 ha of floodplain forests and influence of water regime of other areas. A regional NGO BROZ located in Slovakia, has developed a project for EU funding scheme LIFE. The project aims to preserve last remaining natural floodplain forests in Slovak part of the Danube floodplain and to introduce sound, sustainable forest management in the area. As a result, a Sustainable Forest Management Strategy has been elaborated to give a base for new forest management plans.
The farmers in the Volta river basin generally rely on rain-fed agriculture. However, insufficient or irregular rainfall frequently puts farmers at risk of losing their crops. Farmers must have access to a reliable water supply to sustain their livelihoods. In line with the problems highlighted, the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) set out to find ways to strengthen the capacity of the famers, communities and other stake holders in the basin. As a lesson learnt, it is reasonable to expect stakeholders to adopt improved agricultural practices if such new practices are of their own benefit. Experiences show that stakeholders will only participate in innovation platform meetings when they see the value of doing so.
Tanzania is facing increasing pressures on its water resources due to a growing agricultural sector and the effects of climate change. In order to ensure environmental and economic sustainability in the face of water scarcity the local communities of Kiroka village, Morogoro, conceived a project to build capacity for climate adaptation through sustainable land and water management. The participatory approach coupled with capacity building and holistic problem solving that also addresses livelihood issues has proven to be an effective method of implementing an IWRM plan that is sustainable and can be readily subscribed to.