Water Papers

169 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 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Do National Visions and Climate Commitments across Sub-Saharan Africa Hold Water?: Africa Region Water and Climate Policy Note
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-30) de Waal, Dominick; Hamid, Mohamad Mahgoub
    Water management is foundational for development and climate adaptation. Investments in water not only improve health and wealth of nations but can also buffer the impacts of climate change. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the most vulnerable region to climate change impacts. This policy note examines national development vision documents and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) documents across SSA to: (1) review the extent to which water and water related climate priorities feature in them; (2) propose substantive improvements to the presentation of water and water related climate priorities; and, (3) identify practical ways water sector actors can engage in shaping national planning documents going forward. The analysis shows that water and water-related climate actions are not consistently included in either national vision documents or NDCs across SSA. Most country’s vision documents (91 percent) aimed to improve access to water supply and sanitation (WSS) but only half of the visions aimed to expand irrigation and hydropower. Water resources management (WRM), though referenced in two thirds of the visions was poorly defined and only very few cases described institutional mechanisms for managing water. Water adaptation measures featured in all SSA countries’ NDCs but were often generic in nature without clear indicators or targets. For example, early warning systems (EWS) were included in over two thirds of NDCs but only a few countries were specific about when or how EWS would be set up. WRM measures in NDCs were even less specific than those included in national visions. Water related mitigation measures in NDCs were less frequently included than adaptation measures. For example, only a quarter of NDCs mentioned improving energy efficiency in WSS and only one country set a specific target to reduce energy intensity. As vision documents and NDCs get revised there is a window of opportunity to ensure that water and its subsectors (WSS, irrigation, hydropower and WRM) are presented with clear indicators and targets. Half of the countries in SSA will revise their visons in the 2020s and NDCs are revised every 5 years.
  • Publication
    Using the Hydropower Sustainability Tools in World Bank Group Client Countries: Lessons Learned and Recommendations
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) Lyon, Kimberly
    The Hydropower Sustainability Tools (HSTs) are a suite of assessment tools and guidance documents developed by a multi-stakeholder forum, aimed at driving continuous improvement in hydropower development and operations. They are useful beyond their original purpose as audit tools and can be used in World Bank Group (WBG) client countries to build capacity for sustainable hydropower. The environmental, social, and governance topics addressed by the HSTs are deliberately aligned with WBG frameworks, which provides opportunities for the tools to be used as complements to World Bank Group standards, including to help clients meet WBG requirements and support WBG staff in their due diligence and supervision. It is, however, important that WBG staff should give careful thought to selecting the tool that is most appropriate, given the nature and status of a project, and in a way that is consistent with policy requirements. The tools can also be used voluntarily by WBG client countries in the absence of WBG financing. The HSTs are widely regarded as useful reference tools and recognized as the best currently available measuring stick for principles of sustainable hydropower.
  • Publication
    Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme: A Macroeconomic Assessment of Public Investment Options
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-01) World Bank
    Maximizing the benefits from public sector investments requires a clear, predictable, and transparent process informed by robust analyses that can facilitate multicriteria considerations of different options and alternatives. However, the tools available to governments to assess the costs and benefits of different investment strategies are often too general or specific to determine the optimal investment strategy. This paper aims to improve the tools available to facilitate the assessment of the macroeconomic implications of large infrastructure projects and enhance the capacity for management of public investment decisions. The macroeconomic assessment of public investment options (MAPIO) model was applied to the Batoka Gorge hydroelectric scheme to provide an analysis of impacts on key macroeconomic variables. The MAPIO model shows the project provides a robust financial and economic investment option with a net positive impact on the national economies in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. The estimates are considered conservative and the returns remain robust when subjecting the model to extreme assumptions to test the sensitivity of the results. However, it is important to acknowledge the model limitations, which does not include noneconomic benefits, costs, or impacts on other sectors. Any investment decision should involve a multicriteria assessment that considers the full range of options and alternatives that may be available to achieving the development objectives.
  • Publication
    The Water-Energy-Food Nexus in the Middle East and North Africa: Scenarios for a Sustainable Future
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06) Borgomeo, Edoardo; Talbi, Amal; Wijnen, Marcus; Hejazi, Mohamad; Miralles-Wilhelm, Fernando
    Water, energy, and agriculture have been conventionally dealt with separately in investment planning. For each of these sectors, regulatory frameworks, organizations, and infrastructures have been put in place to address sector-specific challenges and demands. As the Middle East and North Africa works towards building a more sustainable future, a nexus approach that considers the risks and synergies among these sectors is needed. To demonstrate the added value of a nexus approach, this report applies scenario analysis and integrated assessment modelling of the water-energy-food nexus to the Middle East and North Africa. The analysis finds that water scarcity increases in all countries in the region over the coming decades, mostly due to growing demands. More importantly, the analysis finds that many countries in the region could run out of fossil groundwater by 2050 unless measures to curb unsustainable abstraction are implemented. The impacts of growing scarcity on agriculture are significant, with production projected to drop by 60 by 2050 in some countries. On the upside, reducing the dependence of the agricultural and energy sectors on water and transitioning to renewable energies can reduce water scarcity, at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This report is targeted to policy makers, the academic community, and a wider global audience interested in exploring the interactions between water, agriculture, and energy.
  • Publication
    Wastewater: From Waste to Resource - The Case of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) World Bank
    A set of case studies was prepared as part of the World Bank’s Water Global Practice initiative 'Wastewater. Shifting paradigms: from waste to resource' to document existing experiences in the water sector on the topic. The case studies highlight innovative financing and contractual arrangements, innovative regulations and legislation and innovative project designs that promote integrated planning, resource recovery and that enhance the financial and environmental sustainability of wastewater treatment plants. This case study documents Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
  • Publication
    Wastewater: From Waste to Resource - The Case of Ridgewood, NJ, USA
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) World Bank
    : A set of case studies was prepared as part of the World Bank’s Water Global Practice initiative “Wastewater. Shifting paradigms: from waste to resource” to document existing experiences in the water sector on the topic. The case studies highlight innovative financing and contractual arrangements, innovative regulations and legislation and innovative project designs that promote integrated planning, resource recovery and that enhance the financial and environmental sustainability of wastewater treatment plants. This case study documents Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA.
  • Publication
    Greenhouse Gases from Reservoirs Caused by Biogeochemical Processes
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-12) World Bank
    Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is fundamental to the mitigation of climate change. It has become increasingly important to estimate and report on GHG emissions to enable the implementation of mitigation measures to limit or reduce total emissions. In most cases, such estimation is fairly simple, using known emission factors per surface area or per produced energy unit. However, GHG emissions from reservoirs created for the purpose of electricity generation, water security, or flood protection are very difficult to estimate, and no single emission factor or formula can be applied. The purpose of this note is therefore to provide guidance to World Bank Group (WBG) staff on how to assess GHGs from reservoirs in preparation of dam infrastructure projects. The note discusses: (i) the major biogeochemical processes causing GHG emissions from reservoirs; (ii) the state of current knowledge, and (iii) recommendations for assessing GHG emissions caused by biogeochemical processes for planned reservoirs.
  • Publication
    Economic Rationale for Cooperation on International Waters in Africa: A Review
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-02-15) Namara, Regassa Ensermu; Giordano, Mark
    Transboundary river basins cover 62 percent of Africa's total area and, with the exception of island states, every African country has at least one international river in its territory. Thus, transboundary water governance in Africa is central to any national or regional water strategy and any economic, poverty reduction, and environmental strategy. Despite the potential payoff from water cooperation, forging meaningful agreements for shared water management faces numerous challenges. Impediments to negotiated cooperation include differences in up- and downstream views on water rights and histories of water use; negotiating philosophies focused on the belief that water is a zero-sum game; geographic and political power differentials that conflict with basin-wide solutions; and uncertainty over basic water resources data that increase the perceived risks of cooperation. For cooperation to occur, riparian states, other stakeholders, and the facilitators of negotiation must be aware of the possible benefits of cooperation, whether benefit distribution will be shared, and what pathways are most likely to overcome potential barriers to negotiation. Economic theory and empirical analysis can play a productive role in providing the necessary information. This paper provides a review of the challenges to transboundary water cooperation, pathways for overcoming those challenges, and the role of economics in facilitating the discovery of those pathways. While it is written to focus on African transboundary waters, the report draws from broader transboundary water literature. Appendices include case studies on both game theory and hydro-economic analysis in transboundary cooperation for several river basins, including some from Africa. The limited studies that have quantified the gains from cooperation or costs of noncooperation show that the potential benefits are substantial. Recognizing the potential gains and costs for all parties provides a motivation for cooperation. The likelihood of cooperation around river basins is minimal if cooperation does not benefit the respective actors involved. In the final analysis, cooperation should be voluntary based on the self-interest of riparian states.