Water is priced by all urban societies and the poor

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Unformatted text preview: very poor actually pay a great deal for water relative to their income, but these costs are often hidden. Water is priced by all urban societies, and the poor often have no choice but to pay high prices, spending between 5-10% of their income; however, in contrast in most industrialized countries, the lower-middle class spends 1-3% of their income on potable water and sanitation (Selborne, 2000). For example, in OECD countries, households spend about 1% of their income on water; on the other hand, in Onitsha, Nigeria, the poor spend as much as 18% of their income on water (Rogers et al., 2002). The application of economic principles to the allocation of water is acceptable, and provides a simple tool for the development of water services in a more efficient direction. However, water should not be treated as a marketoriented commodity when it comes to domestic use for very basic needs (Gunatilake & Gopalakrishnan, 2002), particularly for people in extreme poverty. More discussion, analysis, study, and commitment are needed in deciding whether water is a common or an economic good. Restoration and Ecology In the last three decades, the highly visible effects of environmental degradation have sparked public outcry, particularly in the United States and Europe, resulting in river restoration initiatives. “Channelization” is the term used to embrace all processes of river channel engineering for the purposes of flood control, drainage improvement, maintenance of navigation, reduction of bank erosion, and relocation for highway construction. Channelization, together with a myriad of other activities, such as construction, land-use change, urbanization, and waste disposal, creates a wide range of biological impacts, principally on benthic invertebrates, fish, and aquatic vegetation. In addition, due to the lowering of water tables in adjacent floodplains, natural vegetation and wildlife are also threatened (Brookes, 2002). In North America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union, 71% of the large rivers (premanipulation mean annual discharge >350 m3/s) are affected by dams and reservoirs, inter-basin diversion, and water abstraction (Buijse et al., 2002). Headwaters are impacted by the construction of dams, which cause the most damage, whereas lowland sections are mostly affected by floodplain reclamation and channelization. As a consequence, riverine floodplains are among the most endangered landscapes worldwide (Olson & Dinerstein, 1998). In Germany (Junk, 1999) and along the Mississippi (Gore & Sheilds, 1995), for example, only about Transboundary River Basin Management Water should be recognized as a tool for community development, peace building, and preventive diplomacy. Water can have an overreaching value capable of coalescing conflicting interests and facilitating consensus building among societies. To incorporate all of the physical, political, and economic characteristics for a river basin, a process for cooperative watershed management is vital. For 1 A country is said to experience "water stress" when annual water supplies drop below 1,700 cubic meters per person. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy | http://ejournal.nbii.org 19 Spring 2005 | Volume 1 | Issue 1 Rahaman & Varis: Integrated Water Resource Management 10% of the former floodplains are in a near natural state. In most riverine systems after damming or channelization, hydrological connectivity between the river and its floodplain is restricted to groundwater pathways in which geo-morphological dynamics are mostly absent; migration of permanent aquatic organisms, such as fish or aquatic mollusks, has ceased, affecting overall biodiversity (Buijse et al., 2002). IWRM principles do not clearly focus on or address the mechanism of river restoration, which is necessary for the sustainable water resources management in areas that have undergone or are presently subjected to notable modifications. current plants in many countries that promote IWRM worldwide. Unfortunately, the current IWRM mechani...
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This note was uploaded on 01/08/2014 for the course SUST 520 taught by Professor Asunkis during the Fall '13 term at Black Hills State University.

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