Water resource management

Water resource management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources. It is a sub-set of water cycle management.

The field of water resources management will have to continue to adapt to the current and future issues facing the allocation of water. With the growing uncertainties of global climate change and the long term impacts of management actions,the decision-making will be even more difficult. It is likely that ongoing climate change will lead to situations that have not been encountered. As a result, alternative management strategies are sought for in order to avoid setbacks in the allocation of water resources.

Ideally, water resource management planning has regard to all the competing demands for water and seeks to allocate water on an equitable basis to satisfy all uses and demands. As with other resource management, this is rarely possible in practice.

One of the biggest concerns for our water-based resources in the future is the sustainability of the current and even future water resource allocation.[1] As water becomes more scarce, the importance of how it is managed grows vastly. Finding a balance between what is needed by humans and what is needed in the environment is an important step in the sustainability of water resources. Attempts to create sustainable freshwater systems have been seen on a national level in countries such as Australia, and such commitment to the environment could set a model for the rest of the world.


Earth water distribution
Visualisation of the distribution (by volume) of water on Earth. Each tiny cube (such as the one representing biological water) corresponds to approximately 1,000 cubic kilometres (240 cu mi) of water, with a mass of approximately 1 trillion tonnes (2000 times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza or 5 times that of Lake Kariba, arguably the heaviest man-made object). The entire block comprises 1 million tiny cubes.[2]

Water is an essential resource for all life on the planet. Of the water resources on Earth only three percent of it is fresh and two-thirds of the freshwater is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. Of the remaining one percent, a fifth is in remote, inaccessible areas and much seasonal rainfall in monsoonal deluges and floods cannot easily be used. As time advances, water is becoming scarcer and having access to clean, safe, drinking water is limited among countries. At present only about 0.08 percent of all the world's fresh water[3] is exploited by mankind in ever increasing demand for sanitation, drinking, manufacturing, leisure and agriculture. Due to the small percentage of water remaining, optimizing the fresh water we have left from natural resources has been a continuous difficulty in several locations worldwide.

Much effort in water resource management is directed at optimizing the use of water and in minimizing the environmental impact of water use on the natural environment. The observation of water as an integral part of the ecosystem is based on integrated water resource management, where the quantity and quality of the ecosystem help to determine the nature of the natural resources.

As a limited resource, water supply sometimes supposes a challenge. This fact is assumed by the project DESAFIO (the acronym for Democratisation of Water and Sanitation Governance by Means of Socio-Technical Innovations), which has been developed along 30 months and funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration. This project faced a difficult task for developing areas: eliminating structural social inequity in the access to indispensable water and public health services. The DESAFIO engineers worked on a water treatment system run with solar power and filters which provides safe water to a very poor community in the state of Minas Gerais.[4]

Successful management of any resources requires accurate knowledge of the resource available, the uses to which it may be put, the competing demands for the resource, measures to and processes to evaluate the significance and worth of competing demands and mechanisms to translate policy decisions into actions on the ground.

For water as a resource, this is particularly difficult since sources of water can cross many national boundaries and the uses of water include many that are difficult to assign financial value to and may also be difficult to manage in conventional terms. Examples include rare species or ecosystems or the very long term value of ancient groundwater reserves.


Agriculture is the largest user of the world's freshwater resources, consuming 70 percent.[5] As the world population rises it consumes more food (currently exceeding 6%, it is expected to reach 9% by 2050), the industries and urban developments expand, and the emerging biofuel crops trade also demands a share of freshwater resources, water scarcity is becoming an important issue. An assessment of water resource management in agriculture was conducted in 2007 by the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka to see if the world had sufficient water to provide food for its growing population or not .[6] It assessed the current availability of water for agriculture on a global scale and mapped out locations suffering from water scarcity. It found that a fifth of the world's people, more than 1.2 billion, live in areas of physical water scarcity, where there is not enough water to meet all their demands. A further 1.6 billion people live in areas experiencing economic water scarcity, where the lack of investment in water or insufficient human capacity make it impossible for authorities to satisfy the demand for water.

The report found that it would be possible to produce the food required in future, but that continuation of today's food production and environmental trends would lead to crises in many parts of the world. Regarding food production, the World Bank targets agricultural food production and water resource management as an increasingly global issue that is fostering an important and growing debate.[7] The authors of the book Out of Water: From abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World's Water Problems, which laid down a six-point plan for solving the world's water problems. These are: 1) Improve data related to water; 2) Treasure the environment; 3) Reform water governance; 4) Revitalize agricultural water use; 5) Manage urban and industrial demand; and 6) Empower the poor and women in water resource management. To avoid a global water crisis, farmers will have to strive to increase productivity to meet growing demands for food, while industry and cities find ways to use water more efficiently.[8]

Managing water in urban settings

As the carrying capacity of the Earth increases greatly due to technological advances, urbanization in modern times occurs because of economic opportunity. This rapid urbanization happens worldwide but mostly in new rising economies and developing countries. Cities in Africa and Asia are growing fastest with 28 out of 39 megacities (a city or urban area with more than 10 million inhabitants) worldwide in these developing nations.[9] The number of megacities will continue to rise reaching approximately 50 in 2025. With developing economies water scarcity is a very common and very prevalent issue.[10] Global freshwater resources dwindle in the eastern hemisphere either than at the poles, and with the majority of urban development millions live with insufficient fresh water.[11] This is caused by polluted freshwater resources, overexploited groundwater resources, insufficient harvesting capacities in the surrounding rural areas, poorly constructed and maintained water supply systems, high amount of informal water use and insufficient technical and water management capacities.[12]

In the areas surrounding urban centres, agriculture must compete with industry and municipal users for safe water supplies, while traditional water sources are becoming polluted with urban runoff. As cities offer the best opportunities for selling produce, farmers often have no alternative to using polluted water to irrigate their crops. Depending on how developed a city's wastewater treatment is, there can be significant health hazards related to the use of this water. Wastewater from cities can contain a mixture of pollutants. There is usually wastewater from kitchens and toilets along with rainwater runoff. This means that the water usually contains excessive levels of nutrients and salts, as well as a wide range of pathogens. Heavy metals may also be present, along with traces of antibiotics and endocrine disruptors, such as oestrogens.

Developing world countries tend to have the lowest levels of wastewater treatment. Often, the water that farmers use for irrigating crops is contaminated with pathogens from sewage. The pathogens of most concern are bacteria, viruses and parasitic worms, which directly affect farmers’ health and indirectly affect consumers if they eat the contaminated crops. Common illnesses include diarrhoea, which kills 1.1 million people annually and is the second most common cause of infant deaths. Many cholera outbreaks are also related to the reuse of poorly treated wastewater. Actions that reduce or remove contamination, therefore, have the potential to save a large number of lives and improve livelihoods. Scientists have been working to find ways to reduce contamination of food using a method called the 'multiple-barrier approach'.

This involves analysing the food production process from growing crops to selling them in markets and eating them, then considering where it might be possible to create a barrier against contamination. Barriers include: introducing safer irrigation practices; promoting on-farm wastewater treatment; taking actions that cause pathogens to die off; and effectively washing crops after harvest in markets and restaurants.[13]

Urban Decision Support System (UDSS)

Urban Decision Support System (UDSS) – is a wireless device with a mobile app that uses sensors attached to water appliances in urban residences to collect data about water usage and is an example of data-driven urban water management.[14] The system was developed with a European Commission investment of 2.46 Million Euros[15] to improve the water consumption behaviour of households. Information about every mechanism – dishwashers, showers, washing machines, taps – is wirelessly recorded and sent to the UDSS App on the user's mobile device. The UDSS is then able to analyse and show homeowners which of their appliances are using the most water, and which behaviour or habits of the households are not encouraged in order to reduce the water usage, rather than simply giving a total usage figure for the whole property, which will allow people to manage their consumption more economically. The UDSS is based on university research in the field of Management Science, at Loughborough University School of Business and Economics, particularly Decision Support System in household water benchmarking, led by Dr Lili Yang, (Reader)[16]

See also


  1. ^ Walmsly, N., & Pearce, G. (2010). Towards Sustainable Water Resources Management: Bringing the Strategic Approach up-to-date. Irrigation & Drainage Systems, 24(3/4), 191–203.
  2. ^ USGS - Earth's water distribution
  3. ^ Fry, Carolyn The Impact of Climate Change: The World's Greatest Challenge in the Twenty-first Century 2008, New Holland Publishers Ltd
  4. ^ "Extend access to water with the help of technology. [Social Impact]. DESAFIO. Democratization of Water and Sanitation Governance by Means of Socio-Technical Innovation (2013–2015). Framework Programme 7 (FP7)". SIOR, Social Impact Open Repository.
  5. ^ Grafton, Q. R., & Hussey, K. (2011). Water Resources . New York: Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ Molden, D. (Ed). Water for food, Water for life is A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. Earthscan/IWMI, 2007.
  7. ^ The World Bank, 2006 "Reengaging in Agricultural Water Management: Challenges and Options". pp. 4–5. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  8. ^ Chartres, C. and Varma, S. Out of water. From Abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World’s Water Problems FT Press (USA), 2010
  9. ^ "GES knowledgebase". Global Economic Symposium. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  10. ^ Escolero, O., Kralisch, S., Martínez, S.E., Perevochtchikova, M. (2016). "Diagnóstico y análisis de los factores que influyen en la vulnerabilidad de las fuentes de abastecimiento de agua potable a la Ciudad de México, México". Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana (in Spanish). 68 (3): 409–427. doi:10.18268/bsgm2016v68n3a3.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Howard, K.W.F (2003). Intensive Use of Groundwater:: Challenges and Opportunities. A.A. Balkema Publishers.
  12. ^ Mund, Jan-Peter. "Capacities for Megacities coping with water scarcity" (PDF). UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  13. ^ Ilic, S., Drechsel, P., Amoah, P. and LeJeune, J. Chapter 12, Applying the Multiple-Barrier Approach for Microbial Risk Reduction in the Post-Harvest Sector of Wastewater-Irrigated Vegetables
  14. ^ Eggimann, Sven; Mutzner, Lena; Wani, Omar; Mariane Yvonne, Schneider; Spuhler, Dorothee; Beutler, Philipp; Maurer, Max (2017). "The potential of knowing more – a review of data-driven urban water management". Environmental Science & Technology. 51 (5): 2538–2553. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b04267. PMID 28125222.
  15. ^ "Integrated Support System for Efficient Water Usage and Resources Management". issewatus.eu. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  16. ^ Chen, Xiaomin; Yang, Shuang-Hua; Yang, Lili; Chen, Xi (2015-01-01). "A Benchmarking Model for Household Water Consumption Based on Adaptive Logic Networks". Procedia Engineering. Computing and Control for the Water Industry (CCWI2015) Sharing the best practice in water management. 119: 1391–1398. doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2015.08.998.

External links


Aquaveo is an environmental and water resources modeling software company based in Provo, Utah that develops software used to model and simulate groundwater, watershed, and surface water resources. Its main software products include SMS, GMS, WMS, and Arc Hydro Groundwater.

Catchment Management Authority (Victoria)

The Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) were established in Victoria under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. Originally known as Catchment and Land Protection Boards, the CMAs were changed to their present name in 1997.

Catchment management authorities are unique because the area they govern corresponds to the naturally occurring drainage basins, enabling integrated catchment management.

Delta Works

The Delta Works (Dutch: Deltawerken) is a series of construction projects in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dykes, levees, and storm surge barriers located in the provinces of South Holland and Zeeland.

The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised. Along with the Zuiderzee Works, the Delta Works have been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Department of Water and Sanitation

The Department of Water and Sanitation is one of the departments of the South African government. In May 2009, following the election of Jacob Zuma, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry was divided, with the forestry responsibility being transferred to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The Department of Water and Sanitation was established in May 2014 by President Jacob Zuma with former Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane becoming the first Minister (26 May 2014 – 28 January 2018). She was replaced by Gugile Nkwinti.

Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources

The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is a part of the Hawaiʻi state government dedicated to managing, administering, and excerising control over public lands, water resources and streams, ocean waters, coastal areas, minerals, and other natural resources of the state of Hawaiʻi. The mission of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources is to "enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaiʻi's unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawaiʻi nei, and its visitors, in partnership with others from the public and private sectors." The organization oversees over 1.3 million acres of land, beaches, and coastal waters and 750 miles of coastal land.The DLNR is established in the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes §26-15 and establishes the Board of Land Natural Resources as the governing entity. The department must follow the Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules Title 13, which details the procedures carried out by the DLNR.

Inland Waterways Commission

The Inland Waterways Commission was created by Congress in March 1907, at the request of President Theodore Roosevelt, to investigate the transportation crisis that recently had affected nation's ability to move its produce and industrial production efficiently. The immediate crisis centered on insufficient railroad capacity developed by the private sector, and competing but neglected inland shipping, the navigation of which had been deemed under federal purview since 1824. The temporary commission lasted until the end of Roosevelt's presidency, but his conservationist progressive interest was focused more than on transportation alone. The president wanted water projects to be considered for their multiple uses and in relation to other natural resources and asked for a comprehensive plan for the improvement and control of the river systems of the United States.

Based on long-established legislative structure and more recent bureaucratic additions, the appointed members of the commission included, elected Representative Theodore E. Burton (R OH), as chairman, being also chair of the House Committee on Rivers and Harbors; Senator Francis G. Newlands (D NV), as vice-chair; Senator William Warner (R MO), and Senator John H. Bankhead (D AL). Non-elected commissioners included government technocrats with experience in related fields, including Alexander Mackenzie, Chiefs of Engineers, US Army, and the entity involved in federal navigation improvements since the beginning; William John McGee, as secretary and from the United States Geological Survey; Frederick Haynes Newell, the first Director of the United States Reclamation Service; Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the United States Forest Service, and Herbert Knox Smith, from the Bureau of Corporations and predecessor to the Federal Trade Commission.

By the end of that year, after the commission had looked at shipping on the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, a minority of its members concluded that the nation needed a comprehensive water resources policy along with an autonomous commission of experts to plan and construct water projects that embraced entire river basins. At the end of 1907, and before Roosevelt presented the commission's preliminary report to Congress in late February, Senator Newlands introduced the first bill to create a permanent commission. Over the next decade the subject of hydroelectricity would be closely studied, while Newlands drafted several more bills, with only an emasculated version becoming law in 1917. While supportive of the commission's report generally, most members of Congress considered Newlands's plan either impractical or unconstitutional. Three years later, Congress all but eliminated the hope of centralized water planning when it replaced the Inland Waterways Commission with the Federal Power Commission, following passage of the Federal Water Power Act of 1920.

L. Venkatakrishna Iyer

L. Venkatakrishna Iyer was an Indian civil engineer and the Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department of the State of Tamil Nadu. It was Iyer who did the survey and submitted the initial proposal for building a reservoir across Godavari river near Polavaram in 1941 which was later commissioned as Polavaram Project. An alumnus of the Town Higher Secondary School, Kumbakonam, he was among the few who assisted Chinnaswami Rajam in founding Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) and sat on the core committee which oversaw the establishment of the institution. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1961, for his contributions to society.

Land management

Land management is the process of managing the use and development (in both urban and rural settings) of land resources. Land resources are used for a variety of purposes which may include organic agriculture, reforestation, water resource management and eco-tourism projects. Land management can have positive or negative effects on the terrestrial ecosystems. Land being over- or misused can degrade and reduce productivity and disrupt natural equilibriums.

List of water supply and sanitation by country

This list of water supply and sanitation by country provides information on the status of water supply and sanitation at a national or, in some cases, also regional level.

Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management

The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management (Sinhala: වාරිමාර්ග හා ජලසම්පත් කළමනාකරණ අමාත්‍යාංශය Vārimarga hā Jalasampath Kalamanākāra Amathyanshaya) (Tamil: நீர்ப்பாசன மற்றும் நீர்வள முகாமைத்துவ அமைச்சு) is the cabinet ministry of the Government of Sri Lanka responsible for:

The development of the nation's water resources and irrigation infrastructure

The management of river basins, groundwater sources and irrigation systems a by operation and/or maintenance

Conservation and protection of sources of water (groundwater included), including monitoring pollution levels and ensuring water quality, as well as preventing salt water intrusions into fresh water sources

Allocation of water resource use at a national level (not to be confused with the more in-depth functions of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board)

Maintaining national drainage networks and flood protection systems

Engineering consultancy services

Oversight and promotion of rainwater harvesting.To this end, the ministry drafts policies and legislation, as well as provides guidelines, advice and consultancy.

Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China

The Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) of the People's Republic of China is the department within China's Central People's Government responsible for managing water resources in China.

However, there are several authorities responsible for water management in China. Water pollution is the responsibility of the environmental authorities, but the water itself is managed by the Ministry of Water Resources. Sewage is administered by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, but groundwater falls within the realm of the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Mzimvubu to Keiskamma Water Management Area

Mzimvubu to Keiskamma WMA, or Mzimvubu to Keiskamma Water Management Area (coded: 12), includes the following major rivers: the Swane River, Mntafufu River, Mzimvubu River, Mngazi River, Mthatha River, Xora River, Mbashe River, Nqabara River, Gqunube River, Buffalo River, Nahoon River, Groot Kei River and Keiskamma River, and covers the following Dams:

Binfield Park Dam on Tyhume River

Bridle Drift Dam on Buffalo River

Doornrivier Dam on Doorn River

Gcuwa Dam on Gcuwa River

Gubu Dam on Gubu River

Laing Dam on Buffalo River

Lubisi Dam on Indwe River

Nahoon Dam on Nahoon River

Ncora Dam on Tsomo River

Oxkraal Dam on Oxkraal River

Rooikrantz Dam on Buffalo River

Sandile Dam on Keiskamma River

Mthatha Dam on Mthatha River

Waterdown Dam on Klipplaat River

Wriggleswade Dam on Kubisi River

Xilinxa Dam on Xilinxa River

Xonxa Dam on White Kei River

Niranjan Das Gulhati

Niranjan Das Gulhati was an Indian civil engineer, water resources consultant and writer, known for his mediation in the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 between India and Pakistan. His contributions were reported in the formation of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), a non governmental organization which promotes transfer of water sharing technologies between countries. An Alumnus of the Thomason College of Engineering (present-day Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee), he was associated with the World Bank, International Development Association and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. He was the author of two books, Indus Waters Treaty: An Exercise in International Mediation and Data Of High Dams In India. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1961, for his contributions to society. His life story has been documented in a book, The Untiring Indian - Lifestory of Mr. N. D. Gulhati - A Visionary Water Resources Engineer, published in 2011. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage has instituted an annual oration, N.D. Gulhati Memorial Lecture for International Cooperation in Irrigation and Drainage in his honor.

United States House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment is a subcommittee within the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Water resources in Mexico

Water resources in many parts of Mexico are under stress, especially in the arid northwest and central regions where most of the population lives and most of the economic activities are located. The country has put in place a system of water resources management that includes both central (federal) and decentralized (basin and local) institutions.

Despite many achievements, the water resources sector in Mexico still faces some challenges, including: (i) increasing water scarcity, (ii) over-exploitation of freshwater resources, especially groundwater, (ii) deteriorating water quality, (iii) lack of financial sustainability of the water sector, (iv) modernizing water supply and sanitation services, (v) improving competitiveness and efficiency of irrigation, (vi) strengthening water institutions, (vii) adapting to climate change impacts, especially droughts and floods.

Water resources management in Belize

Water resources management in Belize is carried out by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) in most cases. One of the primary challenges the country is facing with regard to water resources management, however, is the lack of coordinated and comprehensive policies and institutions. Furthermore, there are various areas of water management that are not well addressed at all such as groundwater data and provision of supply. Data on irrigation and drainage is not adequately available either. Demand on water resources is growing as the population increases, new economic opportunities are created, and the agriculture sector expands. This increased demand is placing new threats on the quality and quantity of freshwater resources. Other constant challenge for management entities are the constant threat of floods from tropical storms and hurricanes. The Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) is charged with flood management as they occur but it is unclear what institution has responsibility for stormwater infrastructures.

Belize is fortunate to have ample water resources with many rivers and lakes as well as groundwater supplies although specific details about groundwater is not well known. Average daily water use in Belize is similar to that of industrialized countries at around 160 L in rural areas to 280 L in urban areas. Industrial processes encompass the largest demand where about 73% of the freshwater resources end up being used in this sector. Water quality in Belize is mostly good except where industry is discharging effluents in urban areas. Most of the groundwater used for supply can be expected to be free of major contaminants. Urban water delivery systems that are connected to WASA's infrastructure are treated and safe; however, this only constitutes about 30% of the systems in Belize.

Water resources management in Honduras

Water resources management (WRM) in Honduras is a work in progress and at times has advanced; however, unstable investment and political climates, strong weather phenomena, poverty, lack of adequate capacity, and deficient infrastructures have and will continue to challenge developments to water resource management. The State of Honduras is working on a new General Water Law to replace the 1927 Law on Using National Waters and designed to regulate water use and management. The new water law will also create a Water Authority, and the National Council of Water Resources which will serve as an advising and consultative body.Initiatives such as the new 2009 General Water Law and The Water Framework Law (2003) along with international monetary and technical assistance and an increasing global focus on integrated water resources management (IWRM) provide hope that Honduras will be able to protect and manage well, their water resources.

Honduras has abundant water resources as the country is located in the tropics but there in lies another major challenge, Honduras must constantly prepare for and recover from frequent heavy storms and flooding. This became all too evident in 1998 when Hurricane Mitch made land fall on Honduras killing 7,000 people.Surface water drains into Honduras' two primary drainage basins; the Atlantic sloping basin representing 82% of the country, and the Pacific sloping basin accounting for the remaining 13% of Honduras. Together, these two basins drain 106,714 km2 per year. Honduras has ample water availability with annual renewable water resources at 13,766 m3 per capita; well above the world per capita average of 8,467 m3 per year or other Latin American countries at 6,739 m3 per year.

Water resources management in Pakistan

According to the United Nations' "UN World Water Development Report", the total actual renewable water resources increased from 2,961 m³ per capita in 2000 to 3,420 m³ per capita in 2005. A more recent study indicates an available supply of water of little more than 1,000 m³ per person, which puts Pakistan in the category of a high stress country. Using data from the Pakistani federal government's Planning and Development Division, the overall water availability has decreased from 1,299 m³ per capita in 1996-97 to 1,101 m³ per capita in 2004-05. In view of growing population, urbanization and increased industrialization, the situation is likely to get worse. Nevertheless, excessive mining of groundwater goes on. Despite a lowering water table, the annual growth rate of electric tubewells has been indicated to 6.7% and for diesel tubewells to about 7.4%. In addition, increasing pollution and saltwater intrusion threaten the country's water resources. About 36% of the groundwater is classified as highly saline.In urban areas, most water is supplied from groundwater except for the cities of Karachi, and a part of Islamabad, where mainly surface water is used. In most rural areas, groundwater is used. In rural areas with saline groundwater, irrigation canals serve as the main source of domestic water.

Water resources management in Syria

Water resources management in Syria is confronted with numerous challenges. First, all of the country's major rivers are shared with neighboring countries, and Syria depends to a large extent on the inflow of water from Turkey through the Euphrates and its tributaries. Second, high population growth and urbanisation increase the pressure on water resources, resulting in localized groundwater depletion and pollution, for example in the Ghouta near Damascus. Third, there is no legal framework for integrated water resources management. Finally, the institutions in charge of water resources management are weak, being both highly centralized and fragmented between sectors, and they often lack the power to enforce regulations. Water resources policies have been focused on the construction of dams, the development of irrigated agriculture and occasional interbasin transfers, such as a pipeline to supply drinking water to Aleppo from the Euphrates. There are 165 dams in Syria with a total storage capacity of 19.6 km³. Demand management through metering, higher tariffs, more efficient irrigation technologies and the reduction of non-revenue water in drinking water supply has received less emphasis than supply management. The government implements a large program for the construction of wastewater treatment plants including the use of reclaimed water for irrigation.

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