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Water Resource Management


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Water is a
vital resource for all living things on the planet. About 75 percent of the
earth surface is covered with water. But then, only round about three percent
of total water volumes is the freshwater resource. Two-third of the freshwater
resource are padlocked in glaciers and ice caps. Therefore, the accessible freshwater
resource is few percent of the total freshwater resource.  Water resource is becoming scared gradually
nowadays. In amid countries, having access to safe, clean, fresh drinking water
is limited. Freshwater demand is increasing in ever for agriculture, drinking,
sanitation, leisure and manufactures.

most countries in many parts of the world are confronting the pressures on
water resources. World population is increasing agilely and it is estimated
that the population may reach to nine billion by 2050. This population will need
about 60 percent increasing agricultural production. Such kinds of increasing
demand on water resource make a scarcity in many parts of the world. It is
estimated that 40 percent of the global population lives in water scare area
approximately 25 percent of the global GDP is exposed to this kind of
challenges. By 2025, twenty-three percent of the global population will be
living in the place where absolute water scarcity occurred. Additionally, as
some of the biggest threats to global prosperity and the stability, extreme weather
events (drought and flood), hydrological uncertainty and chronic water scarcity
were perceived. Many countries occur water security and challenges that are concerned
in water resources.

Freshwater is
the crucial resource not only for human welfare but also for economic
activities. Inefficient access to advanced water supply may result in the human
health and hazards and loss of time in production processes, and that may also
pose acute problems in most parts of the world. Accordingly, the freshwater
resource for both agricultural production and domestic use play in the crucial
role to be conserved in integrated ways.

The remaining
parts of this paper are divided into four main sections.  The section (2) discusses on water resource,
its crisis and problems, the section (3) considers the Integrated Water Resource
Management and case study in Myanmar’s  IWRM,  the
section (4)  makes a discussion on water
resource management and the section (5) concludes the paper.

2.    Water Resource, its crisis and Problems

            Water resource is the most important one to the human
being for ages. Demand for the freshwater resource has increased sharply with steady
growth in world population, bringing about rising consumption, rapid development,
climate change and widespread water pollutions from domestic, industrial and
agricultural sectors. The price of fresh water is also steadily increased by
rising demand and the shortage of freshwater over the years. It has been
indicated by statistics from the United Nations (UN) that about two billion people will
be living in regions with absolute water scarcity, and round about 70 percent of the world’s
population could be living under water-stress conditions by the year 2025. Hence, it is becoming more crucial than ever that
the efficient water management with good practices. The overuse of water, water
mismanagement, changes in availability and pollution are the factors of the present
water crisis.

2.1. The main causes of
the water “crisis”

According to Tundist et al. (2008), rapid urbanization in many parts of
the world, increasing water usage and widespread of wastewater discharged, causes
water crisis. Alteration in the availability of water also makes water scarcity
and water stress. Further, unsuitable infrastructures in water networks in many
urban areas also cause the water sanitation problems. Global changes in extreme
hydrological events, increasing human populations are the problems of the stress
and scarcity of water resources. Additionally, lack of consistent actions of
water resources and lack of articulation is also the factors of the water

This set of
problems has continental, regional, local and planetary dimensions. These
problems contribute to an exacerbation and increase of sources of contamination
and to be decreased availability. Further, the problems contribute alteration
of the water resources with scarcity. These also contribute the increasing the
vulnerability of people population because of the difficulty of access to good
quality water. Besides, these problems also afford to water contamination, and the
quality and quantity of water, and to respond to these causes public health and
interfere in human, with a deterioration of economic and social development and
of quality of life.

2.2 Measures to solve the problems

            To solve these problems and to make enhance strategies for
long-term management, the watershed survey, integrating research, management
and monitoring should be approached. An improved water governance system based
on the participation of changes stakeholders and the public and private sector
should also be considered and implemented. Strategic studies on water and
energy, water and metropolitan area and water and economy have to be enhanced. A
framework for international cooperation hared watersheds is the crucial
approach to solve the water crisis and problems. Furthermore, an economic
evaluation of water resources services must be taken account to make backing in
solving water-related problems. And the measures for capacity building for
managers, with an integrated, predictive and hydrographic basin approach are
the crucial thing to support in solving the problems. Education of all
levels of the community and the preparation of managers with the approaches
is another necessary development for water resources management.

3. Integrated
Water Resource Management(IWRM)

3.1. Definition and history of IWRM

Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) has defined the IWRM as “a process
which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and
related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social
welfare in an equitable manner without compromising
the sustainability of vital ecosystems.”

The IWRM framework
designed base on four keys principles of Dublin Conference on Water which was
held in 1992 and Rio de Janeiro Summit on Sustainable Development. This
framework aimed to improve the water resources management. The four keys principle of Dublin
Conference on Water are
that (1) fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource essential to
sustain life, development, and the environment, (2) water development and management
should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners, and
policymakers at all levels,
(3) women play a central part in the provision, management, and
safeguarding of water,
and (4) water should be recognized
as an economic good
because it has so many economic values.

IWRM come out of
three principles that are economic efficiency, social equity, and
environmental sustainability. Economic efficiency means bringing the enormous benefit to the
greatest number of users possible with available water resources and finances.
The economic value is not only about price but also current and future social,
and environmental costs and benefits should be taken account. Social
equity means ensuring equal access for all water users to an adequate quantity and
quality of water necessary to sustain human well-being. When making water allocation, the right of all
users to the benefits gained from the use of water resource also needs to be
taken account. The financial benefits come from the use of water for economic
purposes and enjoyment of resources through recreational use may be included in
benefits.  Ecological sustainability
requires that aquatic ecosystems are acknowledged as users and that
adequate allocation is made to sustain their natural functioning. Limiting or avoiding land uses
and developments that negatively impact aquatic ecosystem need to be achieved
this creation.

IWRM approaches involve
applying knowledge from various disciplines as well as the insights from
diverse stakeholders to devise and implement efficient, equitable and
sustainable solutions to water and development problems. An IWRM approach is an
accessible, adjustable process, taking together decision-makers cross-wise
the different
sectors that affect water
resources, and bringing all stakeholders to the table to firm policy up in response to specific water
challenges faced. 

3.2 Implementation of IWRM

IWRM desires
to shape
sustainable water security within the present restraint and to improve the situations in
the catchment basin. Some important conditions for implementing IWRM
are political will and
commitment that will support and ease public pressure for IWRM implementation. A
clear vision for river basin Management and participation and coordination
mechanism are also the important conditions for implementing. Moreover, well-defined
flexible and enforcement legal frameworks and regulations, water allocation plan,
adequate investment, financial stability and sustainable cost recovery, good
knowledge of natural resources present in the basin, and comprehensive monitoring
and evaluation are also important conditions for implementation of IWRM.

 3.3. Case
study: Integrated Water Resources Management in Myanmar

In Myanmar, the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
is being implemented by the National Water Resource Committee (NWRC) which is
an apex body of the transforms. Myanmar, one of the ASEAN member countries, is a
forest-clad mountainous country, with plains, valleys and plateaus. It
can be divided into
four ecological categories such as mountainous region, central dry zone, Ayeyarwaddy
delta and coastal zone.

Myanmar has 1082 km³ of potential water volume for surface water and
495 km³ for groundwater as well constitute national water
resources annually. The
storage capacity of dams
21283 million cubic meter. Water utilization for agricultural
sector stands for 89
percent and the highest proportion of water usage because
Myanmar is an agro-based country and its domestic use is about 10 percent and industry use is only
1 percent of
the total water use. The
total utilization of the nation’s water resources is only about 5 percent of the
potential. The results
show that Myanmar water resource is the substantial.

On the other hand, Myanmar is occurring water-related issues such as floods and
scarcity even though
Myanmar has the rich water resource. There is a diversity
of climatic conditions in Myanmar which present challenges for it. Rainfall is unevenly distributed over the country and
over the seasons and over the country leading to flash floods, floods and also
very important, to droughts and water shortages. Additionally, along with
population increase and urbanization, the water demand in cities has increased.
Water demand in rural areas has also increased due to the development of
irrigated agriculture and other rural-based economic activities. Extraction of groundwater
and use of surface water it becoming pressure on it. That is why management and
control of groundwater and surface water are important for the sustainable
development of the country. It also needs to step up water conservation, such
as rainwater harvesting strategic planning for water resource development and
related infrastructure enhancement. Myanmar also needs special targeted capacity
development for the
local community to be able to meaningfully participate in water management
process at all levels.

Therefore, National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) was established on 25 July 2013 for
coordination and cooperation among water-related Ministries, Departments and Organizations, The intellectual and
technical support has been provided by the Expert Group of the NWRC. The
Netherlands government supported
the IWRM Strategic Study in Myanmar. In Myanmar
Integrated Water Resource Management, there have six key management issues. The following are the overview of these six key
Management issues.

3.3.1. Water Supply Management

Water supply
Management in Myanmar is the responsibility of respective local governments.
Therefore, one of the activities of City Development Committee (Naypyidaw,
Yangon, Mandalay) and Department of Rural development is to support the
adequate water supply to their respective area. Most cities and towns in
Myanmar can provide the water supply for domestic use but water quality is not
up to drinking water quality standard. The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC)
 has collaborated with JICA for the
development of Yangon downtown master plan 2040.

3.3.2. Irrigations Management

development in Myanmar is the responsibilities of Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
(MOAI). The irrigation water management activities include the constructions of
the irrigation dams and the allocations of water for agriculture. The water is
distributed from the dams via gravity and through pumping stations. Seasonal
water quality tests are carried out at the dams and are not installed at
irrigation canals.

3.3.3. Stormwater Management

management is the responsibility of the City Development Committees (Yangon, Naypyidaw
and Mandalay) and the Department of Rural Development (DRD). Urban floods occur
after the heavy rains generally. JICA has assisted in the implementation of
urban planning projects for Mandalay and Yangon cities.

3.3.4. Floods Management

management in Myanmar is the responsibilities of Irrigation Department (ID) that
is under MOAI, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), Directorate of
Water Resources and Improvement of River systems (DWIR), General Administration
Department (GAD) and  Relief and Resettlement
Department (RRD) that is under Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
(MoSWRR). Non-structural flood management measures are implemented by DMH and
structural measures by the DWIR and ID. The DMH collects the meteorological and
hydrological data, and forecast the flood model. The construction of reservoirs,
levees, and dredging of the creeks by the ID and the early step warning system
are available at the DMH. The RRD is responsible for the flood relief and resettlement

3.3.5. Water Pollution Management

Water pollution
management in Myanmar is the responsibilities of the Environmental Conservation
Development (ECD) that is under the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environmental Conservation (MONREC), DWIR, Department of Mining (DOM), YCDC, Department
of Health (MOH). Most of the water pollution comes from improper mining, drainage
from industries, and poor drainage systems in the cities. Water conservation
regulations and Environmental Conservation Law are the tools to controlled water
polluting activities. The National Water Policy has been established by the
NWRC and National water law is under development.

3.3.6. Water Sanitation Management

Water Sanitation
Management in Myanmar is the responsibility of the local authorities. Currently,
about 7% of the Yangon’s population and 5% of the Mandalay’s population are
provided with modern sanitation facilities. JICA has helped to development
Yangon Master Plan in which there are the proposal to improve the sanitation system
in Yangon. The public is educated on the need to practice good water sanitation
via broadcasting news in MRTV, MWD, MRTV- 4, etc.

3.3.7. Economic
Efficiency, Equity and Environmental sustainability of IWRM

Economic efficiency: By adopting the IWRM in Myanmar, water use efficiency has been improved
in many cities. It is lead-in the economic efficiency for all nationalisms and
it could reduce the increasing scarcity of water, and water shortage in the country.

Equity:  Likewise the global people who have the right
to access the adequate water supply, all Myanmar people have also the right to
access the adequate water supply and good sanitation. Myanmar IWRM has
implemented to cater for that.

Environmental sustainability:
To get the environmental and
ecological sustainability, Integrated Water Resource Management leading to
conserve water resources by adopting the efficient ways in using water
resources for all purposes
thereby compromising use by future generations of the same resource.

management sector has begun to enhance the implementations in IWRM. Due to a
move towards IWRM and its subsequent improvements,  irrigation efficiency has risen gradually in
many parts of Myanmar. Stormwater management, especially in Yangon, Naypyidaw,
Mandalay and Taunggyi cities, become better conditions than before IWRM. Water
pollution management and sanitation processes have also been improved by
implementing the  Environmental
Conservation Law and the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures. On the
other hand, there have some challenges in most of the management sectors. More
research is still needed to solve the problems in each sector. In Myanmar’s
IWRM, there also have some barriers such as lack of traditions for
inter-minister cooperation, budget limitation, limited capacity and technology.
After making the completion to this challenges, we hope that the Myanmar’ IWRM
will get success in the conservation of water resources in sustainable ways.


World population
growth makes more water demand and it also makes more water pollutions. Freshwater
scarcity problem is caused in part by the increasing demands
of growing human population
rapidly, by the uneven spatial distribution
of rainfall which
is being exacerbated by climate change and by a long history of poor
management practices. We
cannot solve easily some problems which caused by climatic conditions and by
natural events. But, we can make change the management practices to get
sustainable water management. The use of economic and policy
instruments have to
be considered in integrated
forms so that water security to be managed effectively. In the agriculture sector which is the most water
demand sector, there is need to improve water use efficiency for sustainable
agriculture. By adopting the proper irrigation management and good governance
practices, water use efficiency in agriculture can be improved and it may
support for sustainable agriculture.

To solve and
reduce the problems that relate to water resources, Integrated Water Resource
Management is the best approach. Some case study of  IWRM in the world adduces that  the approach of IWRM can be successful in sustainable
way while some are fail in implementing becase of some complexities of the framework.
We need to approach sustainable water management via the success of Integrated
Water Management although there may have some barriers for implementation IWRM.

5. Conclusion

Water is the
fundamental requirement for all living things including human life and
well-being. Now a day,  people in many
parts of the world are confronting the scarcity and shortage of water because
of population growth and water pollution events. Accordingly, water resource management
is really needed for sustainable and adequate water supply for all. Most
countries are adopting the IWRM to conserve water resource in a sustainable
way. To improve the implementation of the IWRM, decisionmakers need to learn the
successful practices from other countries. And the governors need to support
the research institutes to be able to conduct more research in all sectors for
water resource management.

Water is the common
denominator of energy, food, peace and security, poverty eradication.
Therefore, it is at the foundation of sustainable development.
Now a day the implementation of sustainable development goals is the priority
duty for all nations in the world. Without sustainable water resource
management, sustainable development cannot be gained. That is why we need to
collaborate each other to get the success of Integrated Water Resource Management
and Sustainable Water Management in order to implement the Sustainable Development

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