Water-Authority Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2453 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

For example, regarding the stress upon privatization in so much of the literature pertaining to the developing world, "although the privatization concept presently discourages subsidies, it overlooks the fact that, in Europe, initial water infrastructure development was based on massive subsidies" (Rahaman & Varis 2005: 19). The need for privatization is thus left an open-ended question when implementing the principles of IWRM, although the need for attacking government corruption is also acknowledged. Yet in states which lack a substantive water delivery infrastructure, government intervention (or intervention from outside, international governing bodies and relief organizations) may be required. The second approach is viewing water as an economic good, which stresses the inequity of the very poorest often paying the most for clean, fresh, water. Water is a basic necessity and the capitalist marketplace has often been ill-equipped to deliver it in an equitable fashion. Water cannot be delivered as a market commodity given the fact it is required for human beings to live in even the most basic of fashions. (Rahaman & Varis 2005: 19).

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Transboundary river basin management is also required. Rather than creating divides or being used as a bargaining chip between powers, it should be used as a source of connection between peoples. "Water should be recognized as a tool for community development, peace building, and preventive diplomacy" (Rahaman & Varis 2005: 19). Restoration and ecology is also demanded as a core, foundational IWRM principle: "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" (Rahaman & Varis 2005: 19).

Term Paper on The Water-Authority With a Specific Assignment

As well as the need for water preservation IWRM also acknowledges the role of water in food delivery, specifically the role of sustainable water in providing fish to the developing world, a critical component of poverty alleviation and providing healthy food to residents. Fish "provide an inexpensive source of protein to meet nutritional demands in many parts of the world, and therefore should command special attention within IWRM" (Rahaman & Varis 2005: 20). Contaminated waters lead to contaminated fishing and can further compromise human health.

However, while all of IWRM's principles may seem sound, there have been criticisms of the philosophy as excessively theoretical in nature and not practical to apply to the everyday demands of governance. "A practical challenge to the concept of IWRM is found at two levels. First, water is related to development and societies in countless ways. Its priorities and relative importance vary enormously from one place to another. Second, water must be seen as one factor in a broader context" (Rahaman & Varis 2005: 20). Water access can often be used as a political tool to reinforce economic inequalities and does not merely exist as an environmental problem of delivery but equity can be difficult to address as a practical matter, versus in theory.

It should be noted that while IWRM's issues are often discussed primarily in terms of how they reflect issues in the developing world, even developed world nations can have substantial problems regarding water delivery. A study by Al-Barqawi & Zayed (2008) of Canadian municipalities found that 59% of water systems need repair and the status of 43% of these systems and the U.S. even received a failing grade of 'D' when evaluated by an independent body regarding the quality of its water delivery systems. The use of water deterioration modeling is a necessary guide to predict where infrastructure decay is likely to occur. "These physical mechanisms include three main aspects: 1. pipe structural properties _i.e. material type, pipe -- soil interaction, and quality of installation; 2. internal loads due to operational pressure and external loads i.e., soil overburden, traffic loads, frost loads, and third-party interference; and 3. Material deterioration due to external and internal chemical, biochemical" mechanisms (Al-Barqawi & Zayed: 2006). Appropriate water delivery systems are thus not something which is simply accomplished on a one-time basis but must be worked upon over time, in both the developed as well as the developing worlds.


All of these articles highlight the challenges of assessing the sustainability of water delivery and the practical issues of ensuring equity in the delivery of water to various populations due to both political and logistical reasons. This suggests that while environmental components of the issue need to be reviewed (with appropriate technology) to improve water delivery in a safe and clean fashion, without political will and logistical planning, it will mean little. A program of water delivery cannot be excessively theoretical and conceptual to be useful to residents of either the developing or even the developed world. Water delivery must be flagged as practical problem in all political contexts and a diversity of tools must be used for delivery improvement. The goals of my research will specifically be to improve analysis of water delivery in the Caribbean focusing on the political problems which have arisen impeding access. The research question will be the extent to which political and social issues vs. environmental barriers have impeded access to water in the region.


Al-Barqawi, H. & Zayed, T. 2008. Infrastructure management: Integrated AHP/ANN model to evaluate municipal water mains' performance. Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 14:305-318.

Aspinall, R. & Pearson, D. 2000. Integrated geographical assessment of environmental condition in water catchments: Linking landscape ecology, environmental modelling and GIS

Journal of Environmental Management (2000) 59, 299 -- 319


Basnyat, P. 2000. The use of remote sensing and GIS in watershed level analyses of non-point source pollution problems. Forest Ecology and Management, 128,


Buogo, A & Chevalier, J. 1995. Spatial information systems and information integration.

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