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Conferences WATER MANAGEMENT IN TRANSITION COUNTRIES
WATER MANAGEMENT IN TRANSITION COUNTRIES PDF Print E-mail

Introduction

       The procedures and processes related to the development of adequate water management in transition countries need to reflect the specific features of the country in question, related to two very important parameters/indicators: one is the natural abundance of water resources and the other is the economic power of the country under consideration.

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In this regard, countries can generally be divided into six groups:

  1. GDP in excess of 10K US$ per capita and modest-to-abundant water resources (more than 1000 m3 per capita per year). These countries have largely resolved the numerous water sector issues. Countries not yet rich (10-20K US$ per capita) have already undertaken substantial activities to enter the stage of sustainable water management. Rich countries (more than 20K US$ per capita), but with modest water resources, need to save water and accelerate their transition to sustainable water management.

  2. GDP 3-10K US$ per capita and modest-to-abundant water resources (more than 1000 m3 per capita per year). These countries are generally preparing for economic progress and the transition from the water depletion phase to the sustainable water management phase. Additionally, a considerable number of such countries are politically undergoing systemic adjustments and are generally referred to as transition countries.

  3. GDP less than 3K US$ per capita and modest-to-abundant water resources (more than 1000 m3 per capita per year). These countries are generally seeking to improve their economic circumstances and the status of water management. Most of them, along with Group V and VI countries, are facing major water sector issues.

  4. GDP in excess of 10K US$ per capita, arid and desert conditions (less than 1000 m3 per capita per year). These countries need to adopt cutting-edge technologies to provide water and develop water management.

  5. GDP 3-10K US$ per capita, arid and desert conditions (less than 1000 m3 per capita per year). The countries that belong to this group are faced with major issues and need to make a considerable effort to implement adequate water management.

  6. GDP less than 3K US$ per capita, arid and desert conditions (less than 1000 m3 per capita per year). The water sector problems of these countries are enormous.

There are several types of transition countries. For example:

  1. SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN (SEE) COUNTRIES. Most of them have limited financial resources and growing water management problems. Some of them are facing the possibility of a significant decrease in water resources in certain areas due to climate change.

  2. MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES. These countries are to a certain extent similar to the SEE countries in terms of economic circumstances. However, water resources there are far inferior, with a possibility of further deterioration due to climate change. Many of these countries need the application of leading-edge technologies for water use, water protection and water management in general.

  3. SUB-SAHARAN ARID COUNTRIES. These countries suffer from insufficient water resources as a whole or in certain regions, and precipitation is often unevenly distributed (short rainy season, protracted periods of drought). Basic drinking water supply and sanitation issues are enormous and can be further aggravated by unfavorable climate change impacts.

The socioeconomic drivers that impose the need for adequate water management include the following:

  • the need to meet the basic demands of the population,
  • the challenges stemming from rapid changes (climate and socio-economic) and lagging adaptation,
  • the challenges caused by population concentrating in a single area,
  • the challenges resulting from disasters and similar events.

Generally, in all transition countries water awareness needs to be raised and the overall socio-economic system related to water improved through capacity and efficiency enhancements. In developing the right approach to water management improvement, particular care needs to be exercised with regard to two basic water management indicators. Generally, it is necessary to improve legislative, organizational and financial conditions in those countries, as well as to develop capacities, education, etc.
Additionally, the rate of socioeconomic changes in transition countries requires a highly specific approach, which needs to be taken into account at the global level by UNESCO and other international organizations, such as the World Bank and similar institutions.
A number of global and regional climate and hydrological models have been developed to assess future temperature, precipitation and runoff levels for different climate scenarios (IPCC 2007, IPCC 2013, SINTA 2008, SEECOF 2010, CC-WATERS 2011).
Not enough light has yet been shed on the mechanisms leading to climate change as global and regional forecast methods have not been sufficiently tested. Still, there are indicators that precipitation will decrease in a significant number of mid-latitude regions (the Mediterranean, southern Africa, Australia, etc.). The frequency and severity of extreme events – floods and droughts – are also expected to increase.

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Large-scale relative changes in annual runoff (water availability, %) at the end of the 21st century relative to 1980-1999. Values represent the median of 12 climate models using the SRES Scenario A1B [IPCC, 2007].

Themes
  1. Water Management in Transition Countries: Practical Experiences

    This theme will consider practical experiences in water management in transition countries. The theme is rather broad and includes all papers that address experiences—both good and bad—and can contribute to the improvement of water management in transition countries. Under this theme papers can also discuss the theoretical background of water management in such countries.

  2. Water Management in Sub-arid Countries

    This theme will address water management lessons learned in sub-arid countries (according to the FAO definition, countries with average annual precipitation totals from 300 to 600 mm). The theme includes all aspects of water management, with special emphasis on methods for coping with water deficits and the application of leading-edge technologies, but also on practical solutions that can facilitate water management in sub-arid countries with funding issues.

  3. Climate Change and Water Management in Transition Countries

    This theme will consider methods for improving prediction of potential climate change impact on the water balance and impact on water management in general.

  4. Financial Aspect of Water Management in Transition Countries

    Under this theme papers will focus on the role of the banking sector in water management in transition countries—the role of IFI in the achievement of appropriate water management in transition countries, with special reference to the countries’ credit rating and similar examples that should facilitate the development of suitable financial approaches to appropriate water management in transition countries.

  5. Adaptive Water Management

    This theme will address possible approaches to adaptive water management, both theoretical and practical. Adaptation applies not only to climate change, but to all other changes associated with transition as well (e.g. social and economic).

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Transitional output gap

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