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CVS 445: WATER RESOURCS ENGINEERING 1

Assessment:

Course work 30%

Final examination 70%

Course work schedule:


CAT I: 24/02/2005
CAT II: 31/04/2005
Course Assignments: 17 /02/2005 submit on 10/03/2005
COURSE OUTLINE
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Definition of Integrated Water Resources Management and development (IWRD/M)


Why Integrated Water Resources Management
Dublin principles
Water users and implication of change
Integrated sustainable development in Water Resources engineering (WRE) process of
change
6. Water interaction and balance
7. Catchments based planning /management
8. Legal & institutional framework and international obligation for IWRM
9. Kenya in focus, National water campaign, Water ACT 2002
10. Introduction to WRE

INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT


Introduction
to
Integrated
Water
Resources
Management
(IWRM/D)
Challenges faced by more and more countries in their struggle for economic and social
development are increasingly related to water. Water shortages, quality deterioration and flood
impacts are among the problems, which require greater attention and action. These concerns are
giving credence to the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) as a process
to deal with water issues in a cost effective and sustainable way. But what does integrated water
resources management mean? Why is it so important? What are we losing without it? What are
the gains to be made from introducing it? If it is so good, why isnt everybody doing it already?
What is Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
IWRM has neither been unambiguously defined nor has the question of how it is to be
implemented been fully addressed. However, we can define Integrated Water Resources
Management (IWRM) as a participatory planning and implementation process, based on sound
science, to determine how to meet society's long-term needs for water resources while
maintaining essential ecological services and economic benefits. In other words, it is a process,
which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related
resources in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner
without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.
IWRM helps to protect the worlds environment, foster economic growth and sustainable
agricultural development, promote democratic participation in governance, and improve human
health. Worldwide, water policy and management are beginning to reflect the fundamentally
interconnected nature of hydrological resources, and integrated water resources management is
emerging as an accepted alternative to the sector-by-sector, top-down management style that
has dominated in the past.
In light of the foregoing a few points can be raised with respect to IWRM;

The basis of Integrated Water resources Management (IWRM) is that different uses
of water are interdependent, hence the need to consider the different uses of water
together. Integrated water resources management is a systematic process for the sustainable
development, allocation and monitoring of water resource use in the context of social,
economic and environmental objectives. At its simplest, integrated water resources
management is a logical and intuitively appealing concept. Its basis is that the many different
uses of finite water resources are interdependent. That is evident to us all. High irrigation
demands and polluted drainage flows from agriculture mean less freshwater for drinking or
industrial use; contaminated municipal and industrial wastewater pollutes rivers and threatens
ecosystems; if water has to be left in a river to protect fisheries and ecosystems, less can be
diverted to grow crops. There are plenty more examples of the basic theme that unregulated
use of scarce water resources is wasteful and inherently unsustainable

Integrated management means that all the different uses of water resources are
considered together
Water allocations and management decisions consider the effects of each use on the others.
They are able to take account of overall social and economic goals, including the achievement
of sustainable development.

IWRM & participatory decision making


The basic IWRM concept has been extended to incorporate participatory decision-making.
Different user groups (farmers, communities, environmentalists) can influence strategies for
water resource development and management. That brings additional benefits, as informed
users apply local self-regulation in relation to issues such as water conservation and

catchments protection far more effectively than central regulation and surveillance can
achieve.

Deliberate management of resources is needed to ensure long-term sustainable


use...
Management is used in its broadest sense. It emphasises that we must not only focus on
development of water resources but that we must consciously manage water development
in a way that ensures long term sustainable use for future generations.

IWRM is a systematic process


Integrated water resources management is a systematic process for the sustainable
development, allocation and monitoring of water resource use in the context of social,
economic and environmental objectives. It is different from the sectoral approach applied
in many countries...
When responsibility for drinking water rests with one agency, that of irrigation water with
a different one and responsibility for the environment with yet another, there result lack of
cross-sectoral linkages leading to uncoordinated water resource development and
management, resulting in conflict, waste and unsustainable systems.
WHY IWRM?

The Facts:

Of the Global water sources, 97% is seawater, and 3% is freshwater. Of the freshwater
87% is not accessible, meaning only 13% of freshwater is accessible, a mere 0.4% of
the total!
Today more than 2 billion people are affected by water shortages in over 40 countries.
263 river basins are shared by two or more nations;
2 million tonnes per day of human waste are deposited in water courses
Half the population of the developing world are exposed to polluted sources of water that
increase disease incidence.
90% of natural disasters in the 1990s were water related.

It is evident that the worlds freshwater resources are under increasing pressure, and the increase
in numbers of people from 6 billion to 9 billion will be the main driver of water resources
management for the next 50 years. Hence IWRM is driven by the recognition of water as vital for
human survival, health and dignity and a fundamental resource for human development.
Growth in population, increased economic activity and improved standards of living lead to
increased competition for and conflicts over the limited freshwater resource. A combination of
social inequity and economic marginalisation forces people living in extreme poverty lead to
overexploit of soil and forestry resources, with damaging impacts on water resources.
Here are a few reasons why many people argue that the world faces an impending water crisis:

Water resources are increasingly under pressure from population growth, economic
activity and intensifying competition for the water among users;
Water withdrawals have increased more than twice as fast as population growth and
currently one third of the world's population live in countries that experience medium to
high water stress;
Pollution is further enhancing water scarcity by reducing water usability downstream;
Shortcomings in the management of water, a focus on developing new sources rather than
managing existing ones better, and top-down sector approaches to water management
result in uncoordinated development and management of the resource;

More and more development means greater impacts on the environment;


Current concerns about climate variability and climate change demand improved
management of water resources to cope with more intense floods and droughts.

PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS OF IWRM

Managing water resources at the basin or watershed scale. This includes integrating
land and water, upstream and downstream, groundwater, surface water, and coastal
resources.
Optimising supply. This involves conducting assessments of surface and groundwater
supplies, analysing water balances, adopting wastewater reuse, and evaluating the
environmental impacts of distribution and use options.
Managing demand. This includes adopting cost recovery policies, utilizing water-efficient
technologies, and establishing decentralized water management authorities.
Providing equitable access to water resources through participatory and transparent
governance and management. This may include support for effective water users
associations, involvement of marginalized groups, and consideration of gender issues.
Establishing improved and integrated policy, regulatory, and institutional
frameworks. Examples are implementation of the polluter-pays principle, water quality
norms and standards, and market-based regulatory mechanisms.
Utilizing an intersectoral approach to decision-making, where authority for
managing water resources is employed responsibly and stakeholders have a share in the
process.

Water management Principles


A meeting in Dublin in 1992 (The International Conference on Water and Environment, Dublin,
Ireland, January 1992.) gave rise to four principles that have been the basis for much of the
subsequent
water
sector
reform.

Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the
environment
Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving
users, planners and policymakers at all levels.
Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water.
Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognised as an
economic good
i.

Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and
the environment.
Since water sustains life, effective management of water resources demands a holistic approach,
linking social and economic development with protection of natural ecosystems. Effective
management links land and water uses across the whole of a catchment area or groundwater
aquifer.
The notion that freshwater is a finite resource arises as the hydrological cycle on average yields a
fixed quantity of water per time period. This overall quantity cannot yet be altered significantly by
human actions, though it can be, and frequently is, depleted by man-made pollution. The
freshwater resource is a natural asset that needs to be maintained to ensure that the desired
services it provides are sustained. This principle recognises that water is required for many
different purposes, functions and services; management therefore, has to be holistic (integrated)
and involve consideration of the demands placed on the resource and the threats to it.
The integrated approach to management of water resources necessitates co-ordination of the
range of human activities, which create the demands for water, determine land uses and generate

waterborne waste products. The principle also recognises the catchment area or river basin as the
logical unit for water resources management.
ii.

Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach,


involving users, planners and policymakers at all levels.
The participatory approach involves raising awareness of the importance of water among policymakers and the general public. It means that decisions are taken at the lowest appropriate level,
with full public consultation and involvement of users in the planning and implementation of water
projects.
Water is a subject in which everyone is a stakeholder. Real participation only takes place when
stakeholders are part of the decision-making process. The type of participation will depend upon
the spatial scale relevant to particular water management and investment decisions. It will be
affected too by the nature of the political environment in which such decisions take place.
A participatory approach is the best means for achieving long-lasting consensus and common
agreement. Participation is about taking responsibility, recognizing the effect of sectoral actions
on other water users and aquatic ecosystems and accepting the need for change to improve the
efficiency of water use and allow the sustainable development of the resource. Participation does
not always achieve consensus, arbitration processes or other conflict resolution mechanisms also
need to be put in place. Governments have to help create the opportunity and capacity to
participate, particularly among women and other marginalised social groups. It has to be
recognised that simply creating participatory opportunities will do nothing for currently
disadvantaged groups unless their capacity to participate is enhanced.
iii.
Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water
This pivotal role of women as providers and users of water and guardians of the living
environment has seldom been reflected in institutional arrangements for the development and
management of water resources.
Acceptance and implementation of this principle requires positive policies to address womens
specific needs and to equip and empower women to participate at all levels in water resources
programmes, including decision-making and implementation, in ways defined by them.
It is widely acknowledged that women play a key role in the collection and safeguarding of water
for domestic and in many cases agricultural use, but that they have a much less influential
role than men in management, problem analysis and the decision-making processes related to
water resources. The fact that social and cultural circumstances vary between societies suggests
that the need exists to explore different mechanisms for increasing womens access to decisionmaking and widening the spectrum of activities through which women can participate in IWRM.
IWRM requires gender awareness. In developing the full and effective participation of women at
all levels of decision-making, consideration has to be given to the way different societies assign
particular social, economic and cultural roles to men and women. There is an important synergy
between gender equity and sustainable water management. Involving men and women in
influential roles at all levels of water management can speed up the achievement of
sustainability; and managing water in an integrated and sustainable way contributes significantly
to gender equity by improving the access of women and men to water and water-related services
to meet their essential needs.
iv.

Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognised as an
economic good.
Within this principle, it is vital to recognise first the basic right of all human beings to have access
to clean water and sanitation at an affordable price. Yet Water has a value as an economic good
as well as a social good. Many past failures in water resources management are attributable to
the fact that the full value of water has not been recognised and has led to wasteful and
environmentally damaging uses of the resource.
Treating water as an economic good is an important means for decision making on the allocation
of water. This is particularly important when extending supply is no longer a feasible option.

Water has a value as an economic good as well as a social good. Many past failures in water
resources management are attributable to the fact that the full value of water has not been
recognised. In order to extract maximum benefits from available water resources, there is a need
to
change
perceptions
about
the
value
of
water.
Value and charges are two different things and we have to distinguish clearly between valuing
and charging for water.
The value of water in alternative uses is important for the rational allocation of water as a scarce
resource, whether by regulatory or economic means.
Charging (or not charging) for water is applying an economic instrument to support
disadvantaged groups, affect behaviour towards conservation and efficient water usage, provide
incentives for demand management, ensure cost recovery and signal consumers willingness to
pay
for
additional
investments
in
water
services.
Treating water as an economic good is an important means for decision making on the allocation
of water between different water use sectors and between different uses within a sector. This is
particularly important when extending supply is no longer a feasible option.
In IWRM, economic valuation of alternative water uses gives decision makers important guides to
investment priorities. It should not though be the only consideration. Social goals are important
too. In a water-scarce environment, would it be right, for example, that the next water resource
developed should be assigned to a steel-manufacturing plant because the manufacturer can
afford to pay more for the water than the thousands of poor people who have no access to safe
water? Social, economic and environmental goals all play a part in IWRM decision-making.

PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTING IWRM


The overall objective of IWRM is to lay the foundation for rational and efficient framework for
meeting the water needs for development, social and environmental uses. The strategy
encompasses institutional reforms that separate the functions of;
Water service delivery,
Management and administration
Policy and regulation
The process of implementing IWRM is really a challenge to conventional practices. The case for
IWRM is strong indeed incontestable, but the problem in most countries is the long history of unisectoral development. In this respect IWRM is a challenge to convectional practices, attitudes and
professional certainties. It confronts entrenched sectoral interests and requires that the water
resource be managed holistically for the benefits of all.
All this implies change, which brings threats as well as opportunities. There are threats to people
power and position; and threat to their sense of themselves as professionals. IWRM require that
platform be developed to allow different interest groups top negotiate their differences and
somehow nonetheless work together.
IWRM requires reforms and obviously on step-by-step basis, where some changes take place
immediately and others needing several years of planning and implementation.
Integrated water resources management is as concerned with water demand as with its supply.
Thus integration can be considered as integration of natural systems with its vital role of resource
availability and quality and human systems, which fundamentally determines the resource use,
waste production, and pollution of the resource. Traditionally, water managers viewed their role
as that of meeting demand that is externally determined. IWRM approaches should assist in
shaping demand e.g. in terms of quality, availability, peak demand.
The process of integrated water resourced management involves integration of various
management aspects namely;
Integration of Land and water management
An integrated land and water management is d departure form the hydrological cycle of
transporting water between compartments air, soil, vegetation, surface and groundwater sources.
As a result, land use developments and vegetation cover influence the physical distribution and
quality of water and must be considered in the overall planning and management of the water
resources. This integration process also takes into account the water is a key determinant of both
the terrestrial and aquatic ecology. Catchment and basin level management is not only important
as a means of integrating land use and water issues, but is also critical in managing the
relationships between quantity and quality and between upstream and downstream water
interests.
Integration of quality and quantity in water resources management
Water resources management entails the development of appropriate quantities of water with an
adequate quality. Water quality management is thus an essential component of IWRM. The
deterioration of water quality reduces the usability of the resource for downstream users. Clearly,
institutions capable of integrating the quantity and quality aspects have to be promoted to
influence the way human systems operate in generating, abating and disposing of waste
products.
Integration of surface and groundwater management
The hydrological cycle calls for integration between surface and groundwater management. The
drop of water retained at the surface of a catchment may appear alternately as surface and

ground water on its way downstream through the catchment. Large sections of the world
population depend on groundwater.
Integration of cross-sectoral and upstream downstream dialogue
A critically important role of IWRM is the integration of various sectoral views and interest in the
decision making process, with due alternatives given to upstream downstream relationships.
The consumptive losses upstream will reduce river flows. The pollution loads discharged
upstream will degrade river water quality. Land use changes upstream may alter groundwater
recharge and river flow seasonality. Flood control measures upstream may threaten flood
dependent downstream such conflicts of interest must be considered in IWRM with full
acknowledgement of range of physical and social linkages that exist in complex systems.
Recognition of downstream vulnerability to upstream activities is imperative
Integration of Freshwater and coastal zone management
Freshwater and coastal zone management should be integrated, reflecting the inter-relationship
between the two. Freshwater systems are important determinants of conditions in the coastal
zone and hence freshwater managers should consider the requirements of the coastal zone when
managing water resources. This is a special case of the upstream-downstream issue, which is
receiving increased attention
Integrating water and wastewater management
Water is renewable and reusable resources. Where use is non-consumptive and returned after
use, mechanisms are needed to ensure that wastewater flows are useful addition to resource
flows or water supply. Without co-ordinated management, waste flows often simply reduce
effective supplies by impairing water quality and increasing future costs of water supply.
Incentives for reuse can be provided to individual user but to be effective reuse opportunities
have to be designed into the political, economic, social and administrative systems.
In a nutshell the process of IWRM needs to recognise and pursue social, economic and natural
conditions:
Economic efficiency in water use: water must be used to maximise efficiency with mind the
scarcity of water and financial resources, the finite and vulnerable natures of water resources,
and increasing demand upon it.
Equity: basic right of all people to have access to water of adequate quantity and quality for
sustenance must always be safeguarded
Environmental and ecological sustainability: Present use of water must not be managed in a
way that will undermine the life support system thereby compromising future users of water.
Water users
Agriculture
Water supply & wastewater
Mining, industry
Environment
Fisheries
Tourism
Energy
Transport
Each of the water uses identified above has valuable positive and negative impacts.
Negative impacts which may be made worse by poor management practices

Priorities
Each country has its priority developmental and economic goals set according to environmental,
social and political realities.
Social and economic benefits from water use sectors.
These are generally obvious in terms of food production, energy production, drinking water, jobs,
recreation, etc, but the relative value of these benefits is more difficult to assess
Prioritising allocation between sectors...
When there is competition for water resources it brings into the open the need to justify the
allocation of water to one user rather than to another. This value assessment should take into
account both the benefits and the negative impacts. The input from users, politicians and society
in general is necessary as the allocation may not be most efficient when valued in economic terms
alone or acceptable when made only on political grounds
ENVIRONMENT
Maintenance of functioning of ecosystems
Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems need water to maintain their functioning: plants evaporate and
transpire water; animals drink water; fish and amphibians need water to live in. Water is also
used by upper-watershed ecosystems, downstream, wetlands, floodplains, and mangroves need
freshwater inputs. This water is used to maintain a (semi)-natural dynamic, often of a seasonal
nature. To prevent degradation and destruction of ecosystems, it is important to have enough
water of the right quality and with the right seasonal variability.
Loss of environmental maintenance in return means the loss of free environmental benefits fuel
wood, water, fisheries, fruits. They can also contribute to ecosystem degradation through overexploitation. That is why it is important that user communities are involved in water management
decisions.
Natural ecosystems provide many goods and services (functions) to humankind that are often
neglected in (economic) planning and decision making.
Regulation functions
Habitat functions
Production functions
aesthetic functions
AGRICULTURE
Impact of agriculture on the environment is of major importance
The agriculture sector is most important as a user of water and has heavy impacts. Abstraction of
water for agriculture is leading to dried up rivers, falling ground water tables, salinated soil and
polluted waterways. Carefully considered multipurpose projects can combine irrigation with
aquifer recharge, land drainage and ecosystem sustenance
URBAN WATER USES
Urban water uses, in particular wastewater effluents, pollute downstream ecosystems if not
sufficiently treated. The treatment of effluents is often costly and, especially in developing
countries, not considered a high priority given other needs. Effluent recycling and reuse are often
seen to be cost-effective conservation measures.
HYDROPOWER
Hydropower sector affects water regime by changing the water and sediment regime and blocking
migratory movements of fish and amphibians. In some cases reservoirs have provided new
habitats for animals and investments have been made in environmental protection upstream.
Combining considerations of power generation, flood control and ecosystem protection can mean
new operational rules for reservoir releases.

INDUSTRY
Industry affects water quantity and quality. Industry often has substantial impacts on water
resources downstream through water use and pollution. Mining, for example, has affected many
waterways in Latin America. In Western Europe industrial pollution has taken its toll on aquatic
ecosystems during the last century. In many developing countries management of industrial
waste is not yet in place.
Barriers for implementation of IWRM
Lack of awareness
Lack of awareness among all water users is the biggest obstacle to change

Lack of political will


Lack of political will to combat vested interests is also an important barrier. Often the
interests that prevail are not necessarily the most critical ones.

Lack of human and financial resources


Lack of human and financial resources causes integrated water resources management not
to be taken into account in planning and development

Implication for change


Recognition of sector needs
Major requirement of IWRM water sector reform is to provide recognition of varying needs and
incorporate them in planning e.g. domestic, industrial and agricultural water users.
Legislative adaptations
National legislation often needs to be harmonised and strengthened to provide vehicle for
implementation of IWRM. Too many conflicting arrangements hinder adoption of IWRM
Institutional adaptations
Water institutions need to function more and more as brokers between various other government
and stakeholders, rather than stand-alone units. Change in institutional framework must allow
cooperative management and negotiation of water rights
Capacity building
The above requires a substantive capacity building in facilitation, mediation, negotiation and
surveillance. At present, both users and professionals are often not well equipped to take on
these responsibilities as they require knowledge and skills beyond those traditionally taught to an
engineer or hydrologist

10

Water sector reforms in Kenya


Kenya is classified a water scarce country with an annual per capita of about 685 m3. Against this
background, several problem persist, these include
Catchments degradation;
Drying up of Rivers,
Receding of lake levels,
Heavy siltation in dams and pans meant for both hydropower generation and water supplies,
Deterioration of our water qualities,
Increased water use conflicts due to competition of the little available water resources,
Damaged roads, railway lines, bridges, buildings, farmland, water intakes and people displaced
due flash floods,
In addition the levels of water services provision were faced with problems including;
Lack of adequate and continued dwindling financial resources in the water sector,
Dilapidated infrastructure and low revenue collection to augment and maintain the existing
water supplies and to extend the water coverage,
Increasing number of people unserved in urban and rural areas and,
Absence of autonomous institutions to manage water supply and sewerage services in our
cities and most urban areas.
The Water Act 2002 was developed with mind of facilitating the management of the countrys water
resources in a sustainable manner and ensue access to adequate water supply and sewerage by the
population.
Until the water reforms were implemented the laws in existence were inadequate because
o there were too many legal provisions dealing with Water, often conflicting, hence difficulties in
enforcement
o Many different actors, whose activities conflict, and no mechanism for resolutions
o Ministry of Water handled policy, regulation and service provision, hence no distinction
between water resources management, development and service provision
o A supply-driven environment, with serious consequences on sustainability and efficiency of
usage of the resource
o The overlapping roles and responsibilities of key public actors in the water sector were the
main causes of conflicts and poor services in the sector
The management strategy under the water Act 2002 allowed for creation of the Water Services Board
to oversee the supply of water and sewerage services while the management of the water resources
was vested on an autonomous Water Resources Management Authority.
The Water Act 2002 therefore provides for separation of roles and clarifies entitlement
policy formulation that remains with government ministry responsible for water
regulation and management of water resources and service provision devolved to autonomous
bodies
participation of users through the water users association and catchments advisory
committees
Decentralization of water resources management and service provision to drainage areas.
The Water Resources Management Authority
manage, protect and conserve our water resources

11

The authority have regional offices at the catchments level for decentralized decision making
for quick response to water resources management problems and to speed the water
allocation process along the river basin equitably.

The Water Services Board


Regulator for water services as licensees, responsible for the efficient and economical
provision of water services by engaging an agent or water service provider to give water
services within its area of jurisdiction.
Agents include Local Authorities or public water companies formed for that purpose, private
companies, community organizations or NGOs
Catchment Area Advisory Committees (CAACs) and Water users Association

Ensure community participation in both the management of the resources and development.

CAACs advise the WRMA at the appropriate regional office concerning:


Water resources conservation, use, and apportionment
The grant, adjustment, cancellation or variation of any permit

Water Users Associations serve as forum for conflict resolution as well as co-operative
management of the resource in catchment areas

Water Appeals Board


An independent body to resolve disputes between holders of water rights and the others.
Water Services Trust Fund
To assist in financing the provision of water services to areas of Kenya which are without
adequate water services in particular the poor communities
NWCPC

MoLG

SHG/NGOs

MoALD

LAs

Conflicts on allocation
of resources

Conflicts on lead in policy formulation

Poor services

Graphical representation of the management structure under old water laws


Core problems:
Inadequate and insufficiently harmonized legal and institutional frameworks
Overlapping responsibilities
Inefficient operational and financial management systems
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Institutional /management conflicts

Conflicts on checks and balances

Irrigation

Conflicts on checks and balances

Service
Provision

Regulation

Policy
Formulation

MWRMD

MoW
Water
Resources
Management
Authority
WRMA
Catchment
Areas Advisory Regional
Office
Committees
WRMA
CAACs

Water
Services
Regulatory
Board
WSRB
Water
Services
Boards
WSBs

Water Resources
User Associations
WRUAs

Water Resources Management

Water Services
Providers
WSPs

Water and Sewerage Service

Consumers, Users

15

13

Regulation

Water Services
Trust Fund
WSTF

Consumption, Use

Local level

Regional
level

National level

Services
Provision

Water Appeal
Board
WAB

Policy
Formulation

INSTITUTIONAL SET-UP UNDER WATER ACT 2002

THE WATER BALANCE

The water balance is an accounting of the inputs and outputs of water. The water balance of a place,
whether it be an agricultural field, watershed, or continent, can be determined by calculating the input,
output, and storage changes of water at the Earth's surface. The major input of water is from
precipitation and output is evapotranspiration. The geographer C. W. Thornthwaite (1899-1963)
pioneered the water balance approach to water resource analysis. He and his team used the waterbalance methodology to assess water needs for irrigation and other water-related issues.
To understand water-balance concept, we need to start with its various components:
Precipitation (P). Precipitation in the form of rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. makes up the primarily
supply of water to the surface. In some very dry locations, water can be supplied by dew and fog.
Actual evapotranspiration (AE). Evaporation is the phase change from a liquid to a gas releasing
water from a wet surface into the air above. Similarly, transpiration is represents a phase change when
water is released into the air by plants. Evapotranspiration is the combined transfer of water into the
air by evaporation and transpiration. Actual evapotranspiration is the amount of water delivered to the
air from these two processes. Actual evapotranspiration is an output of water that is dependent on
moisture availability, temperature and humidity. Think of actual evapotranspiration as "water use", that
is, water that is actually evaporating and transpiring given the environmental conditions of a place.
Actual evapotranspiration increases as temperature increases, so long as there is water to evaporate and
for plants to transpire. The amount of evapotranspiration also depends on how much water is available,
which depends on the field capacity of soils. In other words, if there is no water, no evaporation or
transpiration can occur.
Potential evapotranspiration (PE). Potential evapotranspiration is the amount of water that would be
evaporated under an optimal set of conditions, among which is an unlimited supply of water. Think of
potential evapotranspiration of "water need". In other words, it would be the water needed for
evaporation and transpiration given the local environmental conditions. One of the most important
factors that determines water demand is solar radiation. As energy input increases the demand for
water, especially from plants increases. Regardless if there is, or isn't, any water in the soil, a plant still
demands water. If it doesn't have access to water, the plant will likely wither and die.
Soil Moisture Storage (ST). Soil moisture storage refers to the amount of water held in the soil at any
particular time. The amount of water in the soil depends on soil properties like soil texture and organic
matter content. The maximum amount of water the soil can hold is called the field capacity. Fine grain
soils have larger field capacities than coarse grain (sandy) soils. Thus, more water is available for
actual evapotranspiration from fine soils than coarse soils. The upper limit of soil moisture storage is
the field capacity, the lower limit is 0 when the soil has dried out.
Change in Soil Moisture Storage (DST). The change in soil moisture storage is the amount of water
that is being added to or removed from what is stored. The change in soil moisture storage falls
between 0 and the field capacity.
Deficit (D) A soil moisture deficit occurs when the demand for water exceeds that which is actually
available . In other words, deficits occur when potential evapotranspiration exceeds actual
evapotranspiration (PE>AE). Recalling that PE is water demand and AE is actual water use (which
depends on how much water is really available), if we demand more than we have available we will
experience a deficit. But, deficits only occur when the soil is completely dried out. That is, soil
moisture storage (ST) must be 0. By knowing the amount of deficit, one can determine how much
water is needed from irrigation sources.
Surplus (S) Surplus water occurs when precipitation, P exceeds PE and the soil is at its field capacity
(saturated). That is, we have more water than we actually need to use given the environmental
conditions at a place. The surplus water cannot be added to the soil because the soil is at its field
14

capacity so it runs off the surface. Surplus runoff often ends up in nearby streams causing stream
discharge to increase. Knowledge of surplus runoff can help forecast potential flooding of nearby
streams.

The Earth's Water Budget

Water covers 70% of the earth's surface, but it is difficult to comprehend the total amount of water
when we only see a small portion of it. The following diagram displays the volumes of water contained
on land, in oceans, and in the atmosphere. Arrows indicate the annual exchange of water between these
storages.

Diagram adapted from: Peixoto and Kettani (1973)

The oceans contain 97.5% of the earth's water, land 2.4%, and the atmosphere holds less than .001%,
which may seem surprising because water plays such an important role in weather. The annual
precipitation for the earth is more than 30 times the atmosphere's total capacity to hold water. This fact
indicates the rapid recycling of water that must occur between the earth's surface and the atmosphere.

15

Computing a Soil - Moisture Budget

The best way to understand how the water balance works is to actually calculate a soil water budget
using the example below. To work through the budget, we'll take each month (column) one at a time.
It's important to work column by column as we're assessing the moisture status in a given month and
one month's value may be determined by what happened in the previous month.
J

Year

50

49

66

78

100

106

88

84

86

73

56

45

881

PE

40

84

123

145

126

85

44

531

P-PE

50

49

61

38

26

-17

-57

-42

29

48

45

DST

17

57

16

29

48

12

ST

90

90

90

90

90

73

16

30

78

90

AE

40

84

123

145

100

85

44

634

26

26

50

49

61

38

26

33

258

16

Soil Moisture Recharge

Water Budget
Field Capacity = 90 mm
J

Year

50

49

66

78

100

106

88

84

86

73

56

45

881

PE

40

84

123

145

126

85

44

531

PPE

50

49

61

38

26

-17

-57

-42

29

48

45

DST

-17

-57

-16

29

48

12

ST

90

90

90

90

90

73

16

30

78

90

AE

40

84

123

145

100

85

44

634

26

26

50

49

61

38

26

33

258

Start the budget process at the end of the dry season when precipitation begins to replenish the soil
moisture, called soil moisture recharge, in September. At the beginning of the month the soil is
considered dry as the storage in August is equal to zero. During September, 86 mm of water falls on
the surface as precipitation. Potential evapotranspiration requires 85 mm. Precipitation therefore
satisfies the need for water with one millimeter of water left over (P-PE=1). The excess one millimeter
of water is put into storage (DST=1) bringing the amount in storage to one millimeter (August ST =0
so 0 plus the one millimeter in September equals one millimeter). Actual evapotranspiration is equal to
potential evapotranspiration as September is a wet month (P>PE). There is no deficit during this month
as the soil now has some water in it and no surplus as it has not reached its water holding capacity.
During the month of October, precipitation far exceeds potential evapotranspiration (P-PE=29). All of
the excess water is added to the existing soil moisture (ST (September) + 29 mm = 30 mm). Being a
wet month, AE is again equal to PE.
Calculating the budget for November is very similar to that of September and October. The difference
between P and PE is all allocated to storage (ST now equal to 78 mm) and AE is equal to PE.
Soil Moisture Surplus

17

During December, the study area is in winter and the potential evapotranspiration has dropped to zero
as plants have gone into a dormant period thus reducing their need for water and cold temperatures
inhibit evaporation. Notice that P-PE is equal to 45 but not all is placed into storage. Why? At the end
of November the soil is within 12 mm of being at its field capacity. Therefore, only 12 millimeters of
the 45 available is put in the soil and the remainder runs off as surplus (S=33).
Water Budget
Field Capacity = 90 mm
J

Year

50

49

66

78

100

106

88

84

86

73

56

45

881

PE

40

84

123

145

126

85

44

531

P-PE

50

49

61

38

26

-17

-57

-42

29

48

45

DST

-17

-57

-16

29

48

12

ST

90

90

90

90

90

73

16

30

78

90

AE

40

84

123

145

100

85

44

634

26

26

50

49

61

38

26

33

258

Given that the soil has reached its field capacity in December, any excess water that falls on the surface
will likely generate surplus runoff. According to the water budget table this is indeed true. Note that in
January, P-PE is 50 mm and DST is 0 mm. What this indicates is that we cannot change the amount in
storage as the soil is at its capacity to hold water. As a result the amount in storage (ST) remains at 90
mm. Being a wet month (P>PE) actual evapotranspiration is equal to potential evapotranspiration.
Note that all excess water (P-PE) shows up as surplus (S=50 mm).
Similar conditions occur for the months of February, March, April, and May. These are all wet months
and the soil remains at its field capacity so all excess water becomes surplus. Note too that the values
of PE are increasing through these months. This indicates that plants are springing to life and
transpiring water. Evaporation is also increasing as insolation and air temperatures are increasing.
Notice how the difference between precipitation and potential evapotranspiration decreases through
these months. As the demand on water increases, precipitation is having a harder time satisfying it. As
a result, there is a smaller amount of surplus water for the month.
Surplus runoff can increase stream discharge to the point where flooding occurs. The flood duration
period lasts from December to May (6 months), with the most intense flooding is likely to occur in
March when surplus is the highest (61 mm).

18

Soil Moisture Utilization

Water Budget
Field Capacity = 90 mm
J

Year

50

49

66

78

100

106

88

84

86

73

56

45

881

PE

40

84

123

145

126

85

44

531

P-PE

50

49

61

38

26

-17

-57

-42

29

48

45

DST

-17

-57

-16

29

48

12

ST

90

90

90

90

90

73

16

30

78

90

AE

40

84

123

145

100

85

44

634

26

26

50

49

61

38

26

33

258

By the time June rolls around, temperatures have increased to the point where evaporation is
proceeding quite rapidly and plants are requiring more water to keep them healthy. As potential
evapotranspiration is approaching its maximum value during these warmer months, precipitation is
falling off. During June P-PE is -17 mm. What this means is precipitation no longer is able to meet the
demands of potential evapotranspiration. In order to meet their needs, plants must extract water that is
stored in the soil from the previous months. This is shown in the table by a value of 17 in the cell for
DST (change in soil storage). Once the 17 m is taken out of storage (ST) it reduces its value to 73.
The month of June is considered a dry month (P<PE) so AE is equal to precipitation plus the absolute
value of DST (P + |DST|). When we complete this calculation (106 mm + 17 mm = 123 mm) we see
that AE is equal to PE. What this means is precipitation and what was extracted from storage was able
to meet the needs demanded by potential evapotranspiration. Note that there is no surplus in June as
the soil moisture storage has dropped below its field capacity. There is still no deficit as water remains
in storage. The calculations for July is similar to June, just different values. Note that by the time July
ends, water held in storage is down to a mere 16 mm.

19

Soil Moisture Deficit

Water Budget
Field Capacity = 90 mm
J

Year

50

49

66

78

100

106

88

84

86

73

56

45

881

PE

40

84

123

145

126

85

44

531

P-PE

50

49

61

38

26

-17

-57

-42

29

48

45

DST

-17

-57

-16

29

48

12

ST

90

90

90

90

90

73

16

30

78

90

AE

40

84

123

145

100

85

44

634

26

26

50

49

62

38

26

33

258

August, like June and July, is a dry month. Potential evapotranspiration still exceeds precipitation and
the difference is a -42 mm. Up until this month there has been enough water from precipitation and
what is in storage to meet the demands of potential evapotranspiration. However, August begins with
only 16 mm of water in storage (ST of July). Thus we'll only be able to extract 16 mm of the 42 mm of
water needed to meet the demands of potential evapotranspiration So, of the 42 mm of water we would
need (P-PE) to extract from the soil. In so doing, the amount in storage (ST) falls to zero and the soil is
dried out. What happens to the remaining 26 mm of the original P-PE of 42? The unmet need for water
shows up as soil moisture deficit. In other words, we have not been able to meet our need for water
from both precipitation and what we can extract from storage. AE is therefore equal to 100 mm (84
mm of precipitation plus 16 mm of DST).

Conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water


The principles of hydrological cycle call for integration between surface and groundwater
management. An aquifer undisturbed by pumping is in approximate equilibrium and water is added by
natural recharge and removed by natural discharge. In response to periods of abundant precipitation,
the water table levels rise and in time of drought, the water level declines. When well is introduced in a
location within the catchment, new conditions are created. Some water will be removed from the
storage in the aquifer in response to reduced head in the vicinity of the well and may induce increased
recharge from precipitation or from streams or it may decrease natural discharge into streams or
springs. If discharge far exceeds the recharge, the withdrawals will cause adjustments in the water
aquifer to a point where significant volumes of water are removed from storage over large portions of

20

the aquifer. The consequences of such withdrawals include; increased cost of pumping, for existing
wells, harmful depletion of stream flow, land subsidence, and intrusion of low quality waters.
The concept of safe yield is therefore used to express the quantity of ground water that can be
withdrawn without impairing the aquifer as a water source, causing contamination, or creating
economic problems from increased pumping lift. Safe yield will depend on the availability of water for
recharge, transmissivity of the aquifer and in some cases; the safe yield is limited by potential
contamination.
If the rate of recharge of an aquifer is increased, the safe yield is also increased, if an aquifer of
low transmissivity can be recharged close to the point of withdrawal, the safe yield may also be
increased. In addition, enhanced recharge may allow an aquifer to function as storage reservoir.
In addition to augmentation discharge to surface stream flow especially during low flow seasons,
there are several advantages in storing water underground. The cost of recharge may be less
than the cost of construction of surface reservoirs, the acqifer also serve as distribution system
and eliminates the need of pipelines besides, water in surface reservoirs is subject to evaporation
and contamination, which is not the case with groundwater storage. Hence optimal water
resources management in a catchment nearly always involve conjunctive use of surface and
ground water.
Artificial recharge may be used to enhance infiltration to groundwater storage; either by means of
recharge well or infiltration field. In this case, surface water is diverted to permeable ground
where it infiltrates to the groundwater. In areas where percolation rates are low or where
recharge route is via beds of river channels, surface reservoirs may be used to store water during
high flow when flow exceeds the percolation capacity of the channel. This water is then released
for percolation when the natural stream is low.
It clears therefore that conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources help to achieve
sustainable use of both ground and surface water sources

21

Watershed based planning


Hydrology is the science of water that is concerned with the origin, circulation, distribution
and properties of waters of the earth and regional hydrology is the branch of hydrology which
deals with the effects of land management and vegetation on the quantity, quality and timing
of water yields - including floods, erosion and sedimentation
Watershed, or catchment, is a topographic area that is drained by a stream, that is, the total
land area above some point on a stream or river that drains past that point. The watershed or
catchment is often used as a planning or management unit.
River basin is a larger land area unit that, although comprised of numerous sub watersheds
and tributaries still drains the entire basin past a single point. Land use, management and
planning is often diverse and complex.
Watershed management is the process of guiding and organizing land and other resource
use on a watershed to provide desired goods and services without affecting adversely soil
and water resources
Watershed management practices are those changes in land use, vegetative cover, and
other nonstructural and structural actions that are taken on a watershed to achieve watershed
management objectives. Integrated catchment management therefore is defined as the
coordinated and sustainable use and management of land, water, vegetation and other
natural resources on a water catchment basis so as to balance resource utilisation and
conservation.
Water as a resource
Water is the most important and most absolutely necessary natural resource required by
man. When human demands for water are not met, there are problems . Extent of worldwide
water supplies; over 97 percent of the water on earth (air and land) is salty and therefore not
available to meet our demands Only 2.6 percent is fresh water of this, 77 percent is tied up in
glaciers and polar ice caps, 11 percent more is stored in deep ground water and is generally
not available only 12 percent is left for circulation. Most of this however, is locked up from
management or manipulation in lakes, reservoirs, soil and groundwater storage. Only 0.57
percent enters into the hydrologic cycle within the atmosphere and biosphere
The atmosphere is involved through the ET and precipitation processes. The biosphere
extends from the bottom of the rooting zone to the top of the plant canopy. This is the portion
of the water on the earth's surface that can be affected by watershed management,
particularly the manipulation of the vegetation
How is this "usable" water distributed on a national basis or catchment basis? Water Balance
a process model based on monthly values of temperature, precipitation and local soil
moisture storage capacity is useful to answer this question.
The hydrologic cycle can be expressed as a continuity equation for any large or small
location. It follows the conservation of mass law which simply stated means that the water in
the hydrologic cycle is always accountable

22

The most common form of the so-called water balance equation is:
P - ET = Q
or, the amount of precipitation on any land mass minus the amount of that water loss to
evapotranspiration must provide the watershed output, runoff Precipitation represents the
equation (and watershed) inflow and ET and Q represent the outflows
For any finite period of time, less than needed to establish the long term average quantitative
balance above, the equation for any area becomes:
P -(ET + Q) = + S
where the inflow and outflows don't balance and whatever the difference, either plus or minus
goes into or comes out of storage to make the continuity law work. This site of storage
change for a watershed or river basin is the soil and bedrock aquifers. In any location the
quantities within the equation particularly the ratio of P input to ET output to the atmosphere
determines how much, on an average, is available for Q to meet our supply demands. Of
equal importance is the distribution over time of both P and ET
does the precipitation come when the ET demands are high or low?
rainfall does not fall uniformly over time for any location
likewise, ET rates vary with time of day and season of the year
the time of the precipitation with respect to time of year and temperature effects the
form of precipitation (snow?) which may in itself determine whether it is immediately
available for runoff
neither P nor ET are distributed uniformly spatially over the watershed
Watershed based planning promotes decentralisation of planning and management for the
following advantages;
Diversity between localities- demand for public services vary from place to place both
in quantity and quality, decentralisation can ensure efficient response to this variation
in demand
Efficiency- Locally financed and provided services can be produced at a lower cost
and enhance community participation as well as voluntary organisation in such a way
as to reduce the costs significantly
Accountability- Decentralised institutions are more accountable to its constituents due
to proximity of the service providers to the served people. The people also have a
better understanding of how the institutions operate
Co-ordination- Since many local services are interdependent, co-ordination of services
can results to cost saving. Co-ordination is much easier to attain in a decentralised
system

23