Water Papers

180 items available

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Water Papers are produced by the Water Global Practice, taking up the work of the predecessor Water Unit, Transport, Water and ICT Department, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 36
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    What the Future Has in Store: A New Paradigm for Water Storage
    (Washington, DC, 2023) World Bank
    Storing water is a critical part of water security, and the societal response to hydrological variability. Water storage increases the amount of water available for human, environmental, and economic use, reduces the impact of floods, and provides a variety of ancillary services such as hydropower and navigation by regulating water flows. Today, our societies, economies, and the environment depend on a web of natural and built water storage. However, as global demand for freshwater use increases and climate change is bringing profound changes to the water cycle, thus increasing our need for storage, the amount of net storage available is decreasing. The natural water storage systems that people have historically relied upon—glaciers, wetlands, soil moisture—are in decline or being disrupted. At the same time, investments in built storage have not kept pace with population growth, and though society is adding new reservoirs and other types of water retention structures, per capita reservoir storage is in decline due to sedimentation and lack of maintenance. These trends add up to a growing water storage gap that must be tackled to enable a water-secure world for all. This report unpacks the importance of storage, recent trends in the availability of storage, and sets forth a new integrated planning framework to guide water managers through a problem-driven and systems-oriented process to understand the options available to them to meet their water security goals and how the different forms of water storage can be part of the solution. This new approach fits within broader Integrated Water Resources Management with a focus on concurrent joint planning. Finally, the report lays out the conceptual shifts that are required to meet this mounting challenge and provides case studies from different countries where integrated approaches to planning and operating water storage investments have been tried with success.
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    Advancing Knowledge of the Water-Energy Nexus in the GCC Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) Jägerskog, Anders ; Barghouti, Shawki
    Climate change and increasing population pressure make it increasingly urgent to find ways to improve the management of the water-energy nexus. The desalination, pumping, distribution, and treatment of water use significant energy resources. The extraction and production of energy consume substantial amounts of water resources. In addition, negative effects on the environment are often the consequences of the management of the water and energy sectors. The report highlights the prospects for addressing these and other challenges at the water-energy nexus. It does this by drawing, in part, on some of the most important breakthroughs in the nexus that have come from the region.
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    From Source to Sea: South Asia Water Initiative Completion Report 2013 - 2021
    (Washington, DC, 2022) World Bank
    This Completion Report summarizes cumulative results and outcomes for the South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI) Phase 2 (from 2013-2021).  SAWI’s objective was to increase regional cooperation in the management of the major Himalayan river systems in South Asia to deliver sustainable, fair, and inclusive development and climate resilience. Four interlinked pathways supported the outcomes: (i) building confidence and trust among the countries – mainly by convening regional technical dialogues; (ii) generating new technical knowledge, including in partnership with others, for national programs to use and to help shift stakeholder perceptions; (iii) building capacity of key institutions and stakeholders by exposing them to regional collaboration efforts elsewhere and training them in the use of new tools and technologies to strengthen water resource management; and (iv) scoping and leveraging investments, most notably World Bank investments so that these new approaches could be embedded and taken to scale.
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    Water Matters: Resilient, Inclusive and Green Growth through Water Security in Latin America
    (Washington, DC, 2022) World Bank
    Water security is a matter of increasing concern across the world and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is no exception. With rapidly growing demands for water and increasing variability due to climate change, ensuring water access to all users and mitigating water-related risks should be at the center of national and regional adaptation strategies. With nearly a third of the world's water resources, the LAC region's development has been inadvertently driven by water. This rich water endowment has allowed LAC to position itself as the world's largest net food-exporting region and greenest in terms of electricity production through hydropower. Water has played a fundamental role in reducing poverty, preserving LAC's natural wealth, and accelerating economic growth. More importantly, access to safe drinking water and sanitation services has contributed to improve the health and living conditions of millions of people. Despite this progress, there are urgent water sector challenges that threaten the region's sustainable development. Access to water and sanitation services is inequitable, with greater gaps in rural, indigenous, and peri-urban communities. In addition, water-related extremes such as floods and droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, having negative effects in lower-income communities. These gaps are more likely to be broadened by unsustainable water management practices, growing demands by competing water users, increasing pollution, and climate change impacts. In LAC, inadequate infrastructure results in a lack of storage and limited investment reduces the capacity of institutions to achieve integrated water resources management and improve service provision. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) conducts research, convenes multi stakeholder dialogues, builds institutional capacity, and provides policy advice to water decision-makers. Focused on improving water governance, the authors aim to contribute to more prosperous and inclusive societies.
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    Argentina Valuing Water: Brief for Policy Makers
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-23) World Bank
    This brief for policy makers is a summary of the main conclusions derived from the “Argentina: Valuing Water” report, a detailed and technical water security diagnostic, and is designed for decision makers beyond the water sector. Its main purpose is to make visible the importance of water, and the cost of existing water security gaps on Argentina’s economy, society and environment. The report further highlights the causes behind those water security gaps and identifies opportunities to close them and make the country more resilient to climate change or to other shocks such as the COVID-19, through a more sustainable, inclusive and efficient water management. The document assesses the water security situation today, evaluating the impacts of these water security gaps in the country’s GDP, and then proposes two future scenarios up to 2030: the first one is a “business as usual” scenario, where there are no changes in the way water is managed today, and where water security gaps perpetuate or amplify due to climate change and growing demands. The second “active scenario” is that one where a series of investments are proposed to close the existing gaps, and where, most importantly, a number of water governance reforms are recommended to complement such investments and to make them more sustainable. These reforms are also necessary to use public funds more efficiently, a priority measure in times of crisis.
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    The Bangladesh Delta: A Lighthouse Case Study
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-01-25) Pakulski, Ingrid ; Laroche, Virginie ; Kazi, Swarna ; Shawky, Ahmed ; Khaleduzzaman, A.T.M. ; Urrutia, Ignacio ; van Ledden, Mathijs ; Browder, Greg ; Engle, Nathan
    This case study report discusses current development strategy for the Bangladesh Delta, which reflects an integrated approach to disaster risk management and water resources management. In this context, special attention is given to the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 and the role of the World Bank in Bangladesh’s transition toward sustainable, climate-resilient development. The report goes over key building blocks of the government’s current delta management and highlights some aspects of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 that may also be relevant to other deltas.
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    Groundwater in Pakistan’s Indus Basin: Present and Future Prospects
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-01) Lytton, Lucy ; Ali, Akthar ; Garthwaite, Bill ; Punthakey, Jehangir F. ; Saeed, Basharat
    Groundwater is arguably the most poorly understood water resource in Pakistan a country in which matters of water resources are hotly debated on a regular basis. Groundwater has the potential to be the most reliable water resource for Pakistan, providing a buffer against the unpredictability of climate change and the failure of infrastructure designed to deliver surface water. The Indus basin groundwater aquifer in Pakistan holds in storage at least eighty times the volume of fresh water held in the country’s three biggest dams. In the 1960s, large-scale extraction from this underground storage began and has expanded to become an essential input to agriculture and the backbone of domestic water provision. Yet in 2020, Pakistan is on the brink of a lengthy and severe groundwater crisis. Pakistan lacks a comprehensive, reliable system for measuring groundwater extractions and their impact on the resource base. In the face of rising population, the effects of climate change, and the considerable natural lag in groundwater response to management interventions, the failure to tackle these challenges is already impairing national water security and drinking water quality. It was concluded that the lack of good-quality, long-term groundwater data in Pakistan’s Indus basin greatly complicates the task of numerical modeling and reduces the reliability of the results.
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    Water in the Balance: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change and Water Scarcity in the Middle East
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-09-28) Taheripour, Farzad ; Tyner, Wallace E. ; Sajedinia, Ehsanreza ; Aguiar, Angel ; Chepeliev, Maksym ; Corong, Erwin ; de Lima, Cicero Z. ; Haqiqi, Iman
    Innovations in water management and irrigated agriculture powered water-scarce Middle Eastern economies for millennia. However, as water becomes scarcer because of population growth and economic development, and even more erratic because of climate change, the region’s water security is coming under increasing threat. This report applies an economic model, the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) computable general equilibrium model, to assess the economic impacts of water scarcity for six Middle Eastern countries and also to examine how water-use efficiency improvements and trade can mitigate these impacts. A 20 percent reduction in water supply could decrease GDP by up to 10 percent, compared to 2016 levels. Furthermore, increased water scarcity could reduce labor demand by up to 12 percent and lead to significant land-use changes, including loss of beneficial hydrological services. The report emphasizes how the growing dependence on shared water resources reinforces the need to manage water across boundaries. The message is clear: unless new and transformative policies for sustainable, efficient and cooperative water management are promoted, water scarcity will negatively impact the region’s economic prospects and undermine its human and natural capital.
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    Water Scarcity in Morocco: Analysis of Key Water Challenges
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Taheripour, Farzad ; Tyner, Wallace E. ; Haqiqi, Iman ; Sajedinia, Ehsanreza
    Morocco is expected to be faced with a major water shortfall prompted by either expansion in demand for water or reduction in precipitation induced by climate change. This paper examines the economywide impacts of these factors for Morocco. It uses a computable general equilibrium model augmented with submodules that trace consumption of water by uses and land allocation across sectors including crops, livestock, and forestry. Results show that water scarcity and changes in crop yields induced by climate change could reduce the GDP of Morocco up to 6.7 billion US dollars per year at 2016 constant prices and eliminate many job opportunities, in particular in the rural areas of this country. Only a portion of these negative impacts can be removed with improvements in water use efficiency. The factors mentioned above will reduce productivity of Morocco’s cropland and have the potential to reduce irrigated areas. Due to these changes, production of crops and food products are expected to fall, with increases in crop prices by up to 14.3 percent, assuming other factors being equal. Investment in water use efficiency practices that save water, in particular in agricultural activities, and shifting toward more valuable and less water intensive crops can help to partially mitigate these adverse impacts.
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    Resilient Water Infrastructure Design Brief
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020) World Bank
    The purpose of the Resilient Water Infrastructure Design Brief is to guide users on how resilience can be built into the engineering design of their project. With a focus on the three natural hazards most likely to affect water and sanitation infrastructure (droughts, floods, and high winds from storms), the document provides a six-step process to help users address weather and climate related challenges that are most likely to affect an infrastructure component at some point in its operational lifetime. In order to achieve both systems level resilience and infrastructure level resilience, this design brief should be used in tandem with other World Bank publications, such as the 2018 guidance document “Building the Resilience of WSS Utilities to Climate Change and Other Threats: A Road Map,” which emphasizes systems level resilience and analysis. The design brief highlights the relationship between these two documents and the unique function that each serves in improving overall resilience in the water sector. It also includes guidance for users to incorporate resilience design principles into projects’ appraisal documents and a sample module/task description for applying the two documents to an engineering design or feasibility study terms of reference.