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Bridging the floods − The role of social learning for resilience building in urban water services

The development of cities is increasingly threatened by a worldwide water crisis. Urban water services (including drinking water, sanitation and drainage) are facing complex and multiple pressures, which are becoming increasingly frequent and severe. These pressures include floods, and the depletion, pollution and degradation of water resources and their associated ecosystems. These diverse pressures fall mainly within the domains of flood risk and water resources management: two working fields that are divided by different institutional structures, approaches and practices. Social learning is becoming increasingly popular as an approach that has the potential to “bridge” these silos, and ultimately, contribute to building resilience in urban water services. However, empirical analyses on this issue are rare and fragmented. In her PhD thesis, Åse Johannessen fills this gap. Her results identify challenges to the integration of the identified silos, what resilience means for urban water services, and the key elements of social learning that can support or inhibit urban water resilience.

 
Angela Renata Cordeiro Ortigara: make better use of water data

With less and less people on the ground, and less and less ground truth and real data on water – be it quality, levels or discharges – more and more policy and statements are being made that are unsupported by reality. Researchers and UN organizations such as WMO keep stressing the need for better (use of) data by decision-makers in order to prevent that ‘measures’ that have lost a connection with reality. Data, implementation of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation for all), and linking with everyday needs of the communities are key issues, according to Dr Angela Renata Cordeiro Ortigara.

 
Water Resources of Jordan • new book

One of the major challenges facing Jordan is its severe shortage of water resources: water scarcity is the norm. The consequences of water scarcity in Jordan are made more harsh by several developments related to strategy, policy and society, the most significant being the rapid rise in population. The population of Jordan has increased tenfold since the 1950s. In addition to the high rate of population growth, Jordan has seen a series of massive refugee influxes since 1948, most importantly the influx of Palestinian refugees over the past decades and currently over a million Syrian refugees. A new book, «Water Resources of Jordan», sheds light on the problems Jordan faces and aims to bring suggestions for possible solutions. 

 
Groundwater as a Buffer to Climatic Change: Dynamic Subsurface Storage of Glaciated Landscapes

29 June 2018 • The northeastern United States is experiencing rapid changes in its hydrology due to intense land-use change, urbanization, and climate change. It also possesses some of the highest density, longest term observations of hydrologic variables (streamflow, groundwater levels) in the US and the world. The focus of this presentation is how small unconfined aquifer systems, and the streams to which they are connected, respond to hydroclimatic and land use changes. 2018 Birdsall-Dreiss Lecture: Groundwater as a Buffer to Climatic Change: Dynamic Subsurface Storage of Glaciated Landscapes

 
Groundwater around the world – free download

The book »Groundwater around the world« presents a unique and up-to-date summary of what is known about groundwater on our planet, from a global perspective and in terms of area-specific factual information. Unlike most textbooks on groundwater, it does not deal with theoretical principles, but rather with the overall picture that emerges as a result of countless observations, studies and other activities related to groundwater in all parts of the world. The focus is on showing the role and geographical diversity of groundwater—a natural resource of great importance in daily life, but poorly understood by the general public and even by many water sector professionals. As a result of a cooperation between author Jac van der Gun and Michael van der Valk | Hydrology.nl the book is now available as a free PDF file!

 
Життя без сміття і з чистою водою. Чим дивує приїжджих Чехія

Питна вода з-під крана, всі на велосипедах і відсутність поняття «сміття». Про те, що для українця – дивина, а для жителя невеличкого чеського міста – буденність, розповіла кореспонденту «СК» харківська науковиця Юлія Виставна.

 
Water legislation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine under transformation

Water legislation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine is under transformation from Soviet to EU environmental standards. This shift requires significant changes in the terminology, structure and content of water laws. At present, the main shortcomings of the water legislation of the three countries and its practical implementation are: (1) fragmentation of water legislation, which translates into poorly defined responsibilities; (2) significant discrepancies between different laws on property rights and the responsibilities of natural resource users; and (3) outdated water quality standards. A new paper by Yuliya Vystavna, Maryna Cherkashyna and Michael van der Valk describes the changes needed to transform the water legislation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine from Soviet to EU environmental standards. 

 
Towards a legal and institutional framework for cooperation at the Nile – new book out now!

Cooperation in the use and management of the Nile will become indispensable in view of the demographic challenges yet to come. Prerequisite for a close cooperation is a legal and institutional framework. However, the Nile basin countries have not yet been able to agree on a permanent form for joint water management. A new book by Dr Philine Wehling provides a comprehensive legal assessment of the existing treaty law governing the use and management of the Nile. It analyses the 2010 Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement and recommends important amendments to its content. Furthermore, the book operationalizes the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation and applies it to the Nile. Combining the legal assessment with the operationalization of international law principles, it offers a valuable resource for academics and practitioners seeking to design a permanent legal and institutional framework for cooperation in the Nile basin.

 
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