Water Papers

183 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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Glaciers, Rivers, and Springs: A Water Sector Diagnostic of Nepal

2022, Joseph, George

Nepal is rich in water resources with a dense network of glaciers, lakes, rivers, and springs that originate in the Himalayas. However, only an estimated 15 billion cubic meters (BCM) of the 225 BCM water available annually is utilized for economic and social purposes. Several elements have contributed to this low rate of utilization, including Nepal’s rugged geography, inadequate institutional capacity, a history of prolonged political instability, and highly skewed seasonality - more than 80 percent of the precipitation in a year falls within a span of four months. For sustained economic growth and poverty reduction, and to enhance shared prosperity, Nepal must increase its investments in water-related infrastructure and institutions and improve the effectiveness of these investments. Although there is much to be done to harness this vital resource, it is important to broaden the development focus and integrate hydropower in a larger water resource management strategy. This strategy will ensure that water is available for basic and economic needs - even through the dry season - as a core component of Nepal’s overall development plan. Given Nepal’s development context and challenges, this document aims to analyze the most pressing sector challenges and identify strategic sector priorities that are aligned with the country’s partnership framework. It offers a snapshot of water in Nepal’s development story and situates the water sector in the broader context of the national economy, highlighting the importance of managing water resources for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. It then presents five pressing sector-related challenges and concludes with a set of priority areas.

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Water Scarcity in Morocco: Analysis of Key Water Challenges

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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Water and Nutrition: A Framework for Action

2019-08, Chase, Claire, Bahuguna, Aroha, Chen, Yue, Haque, Sabrina, Schulte, Mik

This framework for action was developed to support the inclusion of nutritional considerations in the design of water operations and to help formulate nutrition-enhancing water policy. Chronic undernutrition early in life can cause cognitive and physical impairments that prevent children from achieving their full potential and have lasting consequences on the human capital that is essential for economies of the future to be competitive. The authors present an integrated water and nutrition framework to aid in understanding the various ways that water impacts early child nutrition, drawing on the three dimensions of water security: water quantity, adequate supply of water resources; water quality, water that is free of contamination; and water accessibility, reliable availability to all people, economies, and ecosystems. Each of these in turn affects the underlying drivers of poor nutrition outcomes in children. Challenges associated with water-related conflict and water resources in the context of fragility cuts across each of the drivers of undernutrition. The framework complements guidance notes that describe the evidence of how water sector investments across irrigation, water management, and water supply and sanitation impact early child nutrition and summarize recommendations on how to design interventions for greater impact.

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Vietnam: Toward a Safe, Clean, and Resilient Water System

2019-05-01, World Bank Group

Prudent economic policies, combined with the enabling conditions created by a high endowment of water, have transformed Vietnam from a low income to a middle-income country within two decades. Though growth has produced vast benefits, it has also placed unrelenting pressures on water resources, which in turn lead to economic stresses. This report assesses how secure Vietnam’s water resources are and its economic implications and focuses on reducing the threats of “too little, too much, and too dirty.” Specifically, the report focuses on increasing water productivity in irrigated agriculture, water security and services for settlements, and on how Vietnam manages water quality and pollution issues, as well as climate change adaptation, disaster risks, and risks from infrastructure gaps and vulnerabilities. Recognizing that water governance is fundamental in addressing Vietnam’s water challenges, this report analyzes the current governance of the water sector to inform the development of strategies, provide an integrated view of challenges, and identify the most fundamental shifts needed to achieve national water security. Going forward, greater emphasis will have to be given to policy enforcement and to the incentives needed to assure greater compliance. The solutions suggested by this analysis are clustered around seven recommendations. This report was developed in close cooperation with the Government of Vietnam.

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Moldova: Water Security Diagnostic and Future Outlook

2020-11-18, Smets, Susanna, Midgley, Amelia, Mao, Zhimin, Vladicescu, Veaceslav, Neumann, James E., Strzepek, Ken, Pricop, Felicia

Over the past two decades Moldova has achieved major development results: poverty more than halved between 2007 and 2014, and shared prosperity for the poorest households rose sharply. Yet Moldova’s growth model is volatile, unsustainable, and is losing strength. Water underpins much of Moldova’s ability to rekindle dynamism in its economy and to provide outcomes for the health and well-being of its people and environment. Yet gaps remain in understanding the country’s water resources endowments. This diagnostic suggests that in 2018 water availability is not a binding constraint to development. Even in the presence of future changes in demand, there are limited or manageable physical constraints to water security. Going beyond a focus on the water balance, this report assesses Moldova’s water security and identifies important water-related challenges that may hinder progress in economic and human development. Moldova’s water security is threatened by poor infrastructure and suboptimal institutional performance. Through an assessment of service delivery, water resources management and risk mitigation, and an analysis of institutional arrangements and sector expenditure data, this diagnostic establishes a set of policy recommendations on how water should be sustained and leveraged to support Moldova’s development. This report provides a new, comprehensive, and balanced view of water security in Moldova, highlighting the complex water issues that Moldova must tackle to improve its water security. It seeks to elevate water security as an issue critical for national development by providing stakeholders with a stocktaking and outlook on water-related risks, and opportunities in which water can contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction.

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Salt of the Earth: Quantifying the Impact of Water Salinity on Global Agricultural Productivity

2019-12-10, Russ, Jason, Damania, Richard, Rodella, Aude-Sophie, Zaveri, Esha

Salinity in surface waters is on the rise throughout much of the world. Many factors contribute to this change including increased water extraction, poor irrigation management, and sea-level rise. To date no study has attempted to quantify impacts on global food production. In this paper we develop a plausibly causal model to test the sensitivity of global and regional agricultural productivity to changes in water salinity. To do so, we utilize several local and global datasets on water quality and agricultural productivity and a model which isolates the impact of exogenous changes in water salinity on yields. We then train a machine learning model to predict salinity globally in order to simulate average global food losses from 2000-2013. These losses are found to be high, in the range of the equivalent of 124 trillion kilocalories, or enough to feed over 170 million people every day, each year. Global maps building on these results show that pockets of high losses occur on all continents but can be expected to be particularly problematic in regions already experiencing malnutrition challenges.

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Dividing the Water, Sharing the Benefits: Lessons from Rural-to-Urban Water Reallocation

2019-06, Garrick, Dustin, De Stefano, Lucia, Turley, Laura, Jorgensen, Isabel, Aguilar-Barajas, Ismael, Schreiner, Barbara, de Souza Leão, Renata, O’Donnell, Erin, Horne, Avril

Rural regions are often seen as key sources of urban water supply, creating pressure for reallocation and potential hotspots of competition for water between cities and agriculture. How effective and equitable is reallocation from rural to urban regions, and what have we learned from the global experience? This synthesis report examines the drivers, processes, politics, and outcomes of reallocation based on a review of the literature and insights from four in-depth case studies where governments have reallocated relatively large volumes of water from rural to urban regions: Melbourne, Australia; Mokopane, South Africa; Monterrey, Mexico; and São Paulo, Brazil. The findings suggest that water reallocation can play an important role in regional development. However, reallocation projects have also been controversial because of distributional conflicts regarding who wins and loses. The concept of benefit sharing, long applied to transboundary river basin management, offers a framework for designing effective and equitable reallocation processes, shifting the focus from dividing the water to sharing the benefits among rural and urban regions. The report identifies seven key lessons for realizing the potential of reallocation and limiting the risks.

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Water in the Balance: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change and Water Scarcity in the Middle East

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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Nutrition-Sensitive Irrigation and Water Management

2019-08, Bryan, Elizabeth, Chase, Claire, Schulte, Mik

This document summarizes evidence and guidance on project design and results framework indicators for nutrition-sensitive irrigation and water management investments for which improving nutrition in vulnerable populations is a specific objective of the project. Drawing on the current body of evidence on the links between irrigation, water management, and nutrition through the pathways of production, income, women’s empowerment, and water and hygiene, the report describes eight nutrition-sensitive approaches for achieving greater impacts on early child nutrition. Results framework indicators are proposed to support monitoring and evaluation of nutrition-sensitive investments in water management and irrigation.

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Better Data, Better Results: Remote Sensing as a Tool for Monitoring Water Quality in Lake Toba, Indonesia

2019-06-01, World Bank

Lake Toba is a unique natural asset of global significance with a rich cultural heritage located in the North Sumatra Province of Indonesia. Located 904 meters above sea level and with a maximum depth of more than 500 meters, this 87-kilometer-long lake provides a wide range of economic and environmental goods and services for more than half a million people and 400 villages in the seven districts covered by the lake's 3,658 square kilometer catchment. However, sustaining the long-term economic and environmental value of Lake Toba depends on addressing the deterioration of water quality. This technical guidance note reports on the potential benefits of using remote sensing as part of an integrated strategy to improve the monitoring and management of water quality in Lake Toba.