Global Water Initiatives

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1








Global Water Initiatives

Observations on their Evolution and Significance


Robert G. Varady
1




Presented at the

Third Annual Meeting of the

International Water History Association (IWHA)


Alexandria, Egypt

December 11
-
13, 2003












Global Wa
ter Initiatives Project

Working Paper 1


January

200
4




1

Deputy Director and Research Profes
sor, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University
of Arizona
, rvarady@email.arizona.edu




2





3

I
NTRODUCTION
:

W
HY
S
TUDY
G
LOBAL
W
ATER
I
NITIATIVES
?



As the editor of the journal
Water Policy
has written,

the history of social
organization around river basins and

watersheds is humanity

s riches
t record of
our dialogue with nature


(Delli Priscoli 1998). But throughout human history,
the instruments available to nation
-
states have remained largely inadequate to
handle global institutional problems. This lack of collective capacity is especially

notable in relation to
the
environment and natural resources in general
,

and
common
-
pool resources such as water in particular (Ross 1971
; Caldwell 1990;
Ostrom 1990).



Not surprisingly, then, it is only over the past few decades that scientists,
govern
ment officials, and world leaders have come to realize that water is a key
resource whose availability, quality, and effective management are central to
assuring human health, prosperity, and peace.
1

The immediate post
-
World War
II period was marked by la
rge, capital
-
intensive development projects. Then,
beginning in the mid
-
1960s

partly because of rapidly increasing population and
partly due to growing fears of conflict over water

international attention began
to
turn

to the core issue of water policy (W
olf 1998).



The five decades since the early 1950s have been marked by concerted,
organized activity intended to improve understanding of and enhance access to
the world

s water resources. But the institutions
, or
global water initiatives
,

spawned by t
his activity

have sprung from numerous and often divergent sources.
As a result, innovative, useful, and practical observations and recommendations
have sometimes been obscured by the sheer number of voices and diversity of
approaches.



The earliest stir
rings may have been those of associations of hydrologists,
engineers, water
-
resources managers, and other water professionals; these groups
sought to acquire, assemble, and interpret data in order to better understand the
global water cycle and harness its

capacity. To further this effort, professional
associations and national committees
,

operating within the UN framework
,
succeeded in setting up a ten
-
year program aimed at training a scientific gaze
on
the subject of global water. The resulting Internat
ional Hydrological Decade
(IHD), which lasted from 1965 to 1974, was the first major multinational water
initiative of its type (
Batisse 1964, 1965;
Szöllösi
-
Nagy 1993).





1

This view became evident by the mid
-
1980s, when agencies like UNESCO began
referring to water as “the world’s most precious resource” (UNESCO 1985).






4



Since the mid
-
1970s, IHD has been officially succeeded by IHD

s
institutional heir,
UNESCO

s International Hydrological Programme (IHP). In
addition, the period has been marked by the birth of a host of diverse and
dispersed programs. Among these, the most notable have been other specially
-
designated time periods such as the Internation
al Drinking Water Supply &
Sanitation Decade (1981
-
90);

watershed


events such as those termed by one
observer,

UN megaconferences


(Speth 2003); a few national programs with
global
i
mplications; targeted efforts by several UN agencies; and perhaps most
significantly, independent, multinational, quasiofficial initiatives featuring
particular objectives.



In spite of the implicit importance of the above developments and of the
resource itself, the complete mosaic of the global
-
water
-
initiatives phenomenon

remains almost completely unstudied and thus poorly understood. To what
extent do these initiatives constitute a well
-
defined network with clearly
articulated links, traceable influences, and unified purpose? Or, as some have
rightfully asked, are the v
arious efforts independent, poorly

connected, even
competing enterprises? More important still, in the aggregate, have they made a
palpable difference on the ground
? I
n the words of one longtime observer and
participant in these events,

Would the world
of water have been much different
if [these initiatives] did not exist?

2



These and related questions remain almost entirely unanswered, even as
global water initiatives proliferate, enlarge their domains, and seek to assert their
influence. From a pivo
tal location at UNESCO in Paris, I have access to
important archival sources and to the recollections of key actors. In the full
course of my study, I will attempt to address the above issues and try to achieve a
nuanced understanding of the impact and ef
fectiveness of this distinctive process.
For now, the present essay should be viewed as a
very preliminary first step
in
tracing the roots and evolution of the water
-
initiatives phenomenon, identifying
its main components and driving forces, articulating
the most significant
questions raised, identifying some of the inherent institutional tensions, and
proposing a tentative historical paradigm.
3



R
OOTS OF
W
ATER
C
ONSCIOUSNESS AND ITS

I
NTERNATIONALIZATION





2

Personal communication with A. K. Biswas, 7 September 2002.


3

The sources for the present essay are mostly published documents and conversations with
knowledgeable individuals.


5


World War II and its Aftermath: Multinationalism an
d Technology



Communities and civilizations have of course always recognized that water is
an essential element of human sustenance. But in the global arena, awareness of
water as a valuable resource is relatively new, arising mostly since the end of the

Second World War. Previously, as documented in many of the extant
international conventions, treaties, and statutes, water was viewed most
commonly as a channel for navigation and trade (Milich and Varady 1999).
4




The present section seeks to explore
the epistemology of water
consciousness and its internationalization. What intellectual currents and driving
forces have prompted and shaped the various initiatives? How are these
products of their times? How have they mirrored global, regional, and nat
ional
politics at particular moments?



In large measure, the changed perception of water can be attributed to a
number of momentous postwar developments. First, in the wake of the
horrendous six
-
year upheaval, there arose a strong sentiment for multinat
ional
approaches to avoiding new wars. In spite of the failure of the League of
Nations

an earlier attempt at global governance and peacekeeping

the United
Nations (UN) was created in 1945. The signatories of the UN Charter
recognized that many of the wo
rld

s problems transcend political borders
,
and
like issues of war and peace
,
are best addressed multilaterally (Victor and
Skolnikoff 1999; Keohane, et al. 1993; Udall and Varady 1993). Additionally,
reflecting their idealism, the founders recognized tha
t reducing or preventing
military action was not a sufficient means to achieve peace. It would be just as
important, they believed, to address the roots of conflict by improving human
conditions in all of its aspects.



The convergence of these two sets o
f principles

concerted multilateralism
and an integrated view of the causes of conflict

led directly to the establishment
within the UN of a family of agencies to tackle global issues relating to health,
nutrition, education and science, economic developme
nt, and human rights and
welfare, to
reference
the earliest and most significant of the new institutions.
5





4

Table 1 below shows that the earliest water
-
related professional society
was the
Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses, founded in 1885, more than 35
years before the establishment of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, the
next
-
oldest such organization.


5

Health:
World Health Organiz
ation (WHO);
nutrition:
Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO);
education and science:
UNESCO (formerly United Nations Educational
and Scientific Organization) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO);
economic
development:
World Bank (International Ba
nk for Reconstruction and Development; IBRD)

6



During the 1950s and 1960s, these agencies spearheaded the earliest global
resources initiatives such as the seminal International Geophysical Year

(IGY)
of 1957
-
58 (Chapman 1959), the Arid
Zone Programme that began in 195
0
(Batisse 1988
, 1993
), the International Hydrological Decade of 1965
-
74 (Hudson,
et al. 1996; Szöllösi
-
Nagy 1993; Clifford 2002), and the Man and the Biosphere
Programme (MAB), tha
t was conceived in 1968 and has operated since 1971
(Batisse 1988; Otte 1997)
.
6

The advent of these new institutions had strong
implications for the management of shared resources such as water.



Simultaneously, during the formative years of the United N
ations in the late
1940s and early 1950s, the western nations and the Soviet Union had at their
disposal the potent technologies of the period. And while on the one hand, the
end of the war initiated a half
-
century of ideological and geopolitical
competit
ion, it also brought greater prestige to and expectations of science and
technology. In the hubris of victory against the German and Japanese war
machines, the world powers brimmed with confidence over their ability to deploy
the new technologies in massi
ve ways intended to transform society and adapt the
landscape to human needs
,
trends already well under way in Nazi Germany, the
U.S.S.R., the United States, and western Europe (see, Weiner 1992). Ulterior
motives notwithstanding, both the capitalist and
socialist visions of postwar
transformation ostensibly were undertaken to benefit humankind by promoting
economic development and social well
-
being.
7



Nowhere was this new impulse to harness technology more clearly visible
than in the realm of water. The

three decades from 1945 to the late

1970s
brought
an unprecedented initiation of ambitious, large
-
scale waterworks such as
dams, barrages, irrigation schemes, and hydroelectric plants; river diversions and
interbasin transfers; and wetlands
-
drainage and l
and
-
reclamation projects.
Heralded as signals of 20th century progress, these enterprises underlined the
centrality of water to society.


Evolution of Organized Efforts


Professional Societies







and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and
human rights and welfare:
Commission on Human Rights and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).


6

Michel Batisse was an influential founder of three of th
ese initiatives: the Arid Zone
Programme, the International Hydrological Decade, and MAB. Batisse was interviewed
regarding his role in IHD by the PI in December 2002 and in October 2003.


7

At another, more cynically
-
motivated level, the projects obviousl
y were aimed at eliciting
political allegiance to one or the other superpower.


7



As the international significance of water became more gener
ally
recognized, numerous institutions arose to advocate one or another of its aspects.
But considerably earlier, professional societies had been at the vanguard of this
advocacy. Like all such associations, these had formed among professionals of
variou
s stripes to construct common intellectual spaces, share expertise, and
stimulate and promote basic and applied research. Accordingly, by the mid
-
1950s, water scientists, engineers, and managers had established respected, well
-
functioning, and well
-
subscr
ibed organizations, each pursuing the interests of its
members and pulling in its own direction.



In the domain of water
,

the oldest continuously operating professional
society
cum

interest group has been the International Navigation Association
(PIANC),
which has existed for nearly 120 years. Perhaps the most
comprehensive scientific organizations, dating to 1919 and 1932 respectively, are
the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the
International Council for Science (first called the

International Council of
Scientific Unions, or ICSU). Both the IUGG and the ICSU have provided wide
topical umbrellas that have accommodated hydrologists, hydrogeologists,
hydraulic engineers, and other water

scientists and practitioners.



As with other

such transdisciplinary associations, specialists whose numbers
were growing began to form their own groups. The earliest offshoots of the
IUGG and the ICSU included such societies as the International Association of
Hydrological Sciences (IAHS; formerly
IASH) and the Societas Internationalis
Limnologiae, both formed in 1922, and the International Association for
Hydraulic Research (IAHR), created in 1935
,
all born in the decades between
the world wars (George 2003). Table 1 lists some of the most signif
icant water
-
related professional societies.



Not long after World War II, water scientists established the International
Union of Technical Associations and Organizations (UATI), the triennial World
Irrigation and Drainage Congresses, and the Internationa
l Association of
Hydrogeologists (IAH
),
all originating in the early

to

mid
-
1950s. By this time, at
the height of the Cold War, professional societies began to supplement their
scientific and collegial goals with pursuit of certain social or political obj
ectives
,
mostly in the nature of increasing dialogue and communication among
colleagues. As an example, the International Association of Hydrogeologists,
established in 1956

the year of the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian
uprising

was strongly motivat
ed to rectify the

virtual breakdown of relations
between the countries of Eastern Europe and the West, together with the

8

isolation of huge areas of Asia
,


which they saw as the cause of

enormous
problems for international science and its practitioners


(
Day 1999).
8

The International Hydrological Decade (IHD) and Its Origins




Postwar polarization not only isolated professionals from some of their
counterparts, it created a gulf in the content of science. Ideological differences
were reflected in the dis
tinct schools of science and approaches to technology
that began coalescing during this time. As a striking example, in the late 1960s
the seemingly apolitical field of marine science was riven by opposing
interpretations of continental formation. Wester
ners believed strongly in the
validity of the newly developed theory of plate tectonics, while for a variety of
culturally and
(
many suspect
)

politically motivated reasons, marine scientists in
the Eastern bloc found this explanation objectionable and resi
sted its
acceptance.
9



It was in fact earlier irruptions of this sort that prompted scientists,
engineers, educators, and UN officials to call for the designation of a unified and
concerted global effort to gather and interpret data on the planet. The re
sult was
the International Geophysical Year (IGY), which lasted from July

1957 to
December 1958 (Chapman 1959). IGY was inspired by two earlier

years,


the
International Polar Year of 1882
-
1883 and its reprise, the International Polar
Year of 1932
-
1933.

Like those two enterprises but with a more global purview
and more participating nations, IGY aimed to yield a series of coordinated
observations of geophysical phenomena. These investigations were intended to
involve scientists from both
sides of the Ir
on Curtain. Of interest here, the idea
for IGY arose from the scientific ranks and was taken up by an established
scientific society, the International Council of Scientific Unions (NAS 2003).



The International Geophysical Year marked the first serious,

sustained
collaboration between Soviet and western scientists and set the stage for other
large
-
scale, focused, and ideologically safe planetary science programs. In the
realm of water, the first movement toward a true global initiative began in the
earl
y 1960s.
10

Like most successful enterprises, the initiative, which in 1965
became the International Hydrological Decade (IHD), has many parents.
Valentin Korzun, a distinguished Soviet hydrologist, traces the germination of




8

Plate, Salih, and Chandra (1991) write on the importance of professional societies to
developing countries.


9

Science historian Jacob Hamblin (2000) has examined this and si
milar examples of
postwar scientific polarization in a number of recent works.


10

András Szöllösi
-
Nagy, longtime head of ’UNESCO’s IHP, has called IHD “the first truly
international scientific and educational effort in hydrology” (1993).


9

the Decade to an important Nov
ember 1962 UNESCO meeting of water experts
and members of professional societies from 22 countries (Korzoun 1991). It was
this meeting, according to Korzun, that yielded a formal proposal for a large
-
scale international decade.


10

Tabl
e 1. Examples of Influential International Professional Societies


Professional Society

Date
established

International
Navigation Association* (PIANC;
formerly Permanent International Assoc. of Navigation Congresses)

......


International Union of Geodesy and G
eophysics (IUGG)

................................
................................
................................
..........


International Association of Hydrological Sciences* (IAHS; formerly IASH)

................................
................................
..........


International Geographical Union (IGU)**

................................
................................
................................
................................
.


International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology* (Societas Internationalis Limnologiae; SIL)

.................


Internationa
l Council for Science (ICSU; formerly Intl. Council of Scientific Unions)

................................
...........................


IAHR* (formerly International Association for Hydraulic Research)

................................
................................
.......................


International Union of Technical Associations and Organizations (UATI)

................................
................................
..............


World Irrigation and Drainage Congresses*
(trinennial)

................................
................................
................................
............


International Association of Hydrogeologists* (IAH)

................................
................................
................................
.................


Committee on Water Research (COWAR)

................................
................................
................................
................................
..


International Water Resources Association* (IWRA)

................................
................................
................................
................



World Water Congress (triennial)

................................
................................
................................
................................
.............


Internationa
l Hydropower Association* (IHA)

................................
................................
................................
............................


International Water Association* (IWA)

................................
................................
................................
................................
......



International Water Associations Liaison Committee (IWALC)***

................................
................................
....................


International Water History Association* (IWHA)

................................
................................
................................
.....................


1885

1919

1922

1922

1922

1931

1935

1951

1951

1956

1964

1972

1973

1
995

1995

c.

n.a.

2001



*

Member organization of the International Water Associations Liaison Committee (IWALC)

**

The IGU’s Commission for Water Sustainability (CWS) is a member of IWALC (it was formed in 2002 and previously called the Stu
dy Group
on W
ater Sustainability [2001
-
02]; before that it was the Study Group on Environmental Change and Extreme Hydrological Events [1998
-
2001])

***

One additional organization, the International Congress on Large Dams (ICOLD) is not included in the tabulation becau
se it is more an
interest group than a professional society



11

Sources
: Compiled by the author and partly based on personal communications with officials of some of the societies (e.g., IAHR, IHA
, IWA, and
CWS)


12


Michel Batisse, a former high
-
ranking UNESCO
official and himself an
influential actor at the time, credits a charismatic, visionary individual. Batisse,
who subsequently helped convince UNESCO to accept and coordinate the
Decade, considers U.S. scientist Raymond Nace of the U.S. Geological Survey
(
USGS) to be the originator of the concept and its chief moving force (Batisse
2002, 2003).
11

Whether Nace was acting on his own or representing his country’s
scientific community, it is clear that the concept was articulated and published
the year before
the 1962 experts’ meeting.
12

According to
Batisse, the idea was
based on Nace’s determination to measure the world’s water budget, a daunting
undertaking that he thought was unlikely to be achieved by a single nation.
Nace’s model for this approach was t
he International Geophysical Year, in which
USGS had participated actively. Nace apparently envisioned the new program as
an intensive, intergovernmental campaign using basins and standardized data
-
gathering stations to obtain necessary measurements.




Although UNESCO did not at the time have a water
-
resources division, it
had nonetheless been active in the field since the early 1950s. UNESCO

s most
prominent involvement in global water problems had been its sponsorship,
beginning in 1951, of an interna
tional
Advisory
Committee on Arid Zone
Research (
A
CAZR).
13

A
CAZR and its offspring, the Arid Zone Programme,
directed UNESCO

s attention to the world

s most acute water problems: those in
the world

s driest areas. Among the major postwar international or
ganizations,
therefore, UNESCO was arguably best

suited to convene meetings, coordinate
activities, and provide multilateral leadership for planning and implementing the
International Hydrological Decade.
14






11

Another reli
able source, an institutional history of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water
Resources Division, concurs with Batisse, calling Nace “the father of the International
Hydrological Decade” (Hudson, et al. 1996). According to Batisse, Walter B. Langbein of
USG
S also deserves credit as one of the authors of the idea for the Decade.


12

A paper titled, “A Proposal for International Cooperation in Hydrology,” was presented
at an IASH (now IAHS) symposium in October1961 and published soon after in the December
1961

issue of the
Bulletin of the International Association of Scientific Hrology
(now IAHS),
volume 6, number 4. It was authored by a group of U.S. hydrologists, chaired by Walter B.
Langbein, and included Luna B. Leopold and Raymond Nace, all of USGS (Hudso
n, et al.
1996).


13

ACAZR oversaw a long
-
term activity, the Arid Zone Programme, pioneered by Batisse
as a “major project” from 1958 to 1964.


14

Notably represented on the IHD coordinating council were a professional society, the
International Associatio
n of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS); and UNESCO’s sister UN agency,
the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Other UN agencies

FAO, WHO, and
IAEA

also took part in some of the formative meetings (see “List of Acronyms”).


13



Following the November 1962 meeting, UNESCO c
onvened additional
sessions aimed at broadening participation and reexamining and revising the
original proposal to create an international decade. In 1963 the number of
participating nations rose from 22 to 48, and the following year
rose again
to 57.
I
n addition to representatives of those countries, the most influential professional
societies, ICSU, IUGG, IAHS, and IAH

which all along had advocated greater
international cooperation in water science

joined the discussions. The
recommendations of these
meetings were adopted by the end of 1964 and the
UNESCO launched the
International Hydrological Decade at the start of 1965
(Korzoun 1991
; Batisse 2003
). The Decade operated via a set of statutes
,

a 21
-
member Coordinating Intergovernmental Council,
and
of
ficial National
Committees for each of the participating countries.
15



Most observers agree that the Decade, which ended in 1974, was a major
boon to the field of water sciences as a whole and to understanding the
hydrological cycle in particular. At the

outset the program defined five main
objectives: to collect hydrological data, assess resources and budget balances,
conduct research into problems, educate and train new personnel, and facilitate
information exchange.

In the course of addressing those o
bjectives, the Decade
promoted scientific cooperation and substantially advanced the state of
hydrologic knowledge. One of the byproducts of the flurry of activities generated
by the IHD was that it drew considerable attention to water issues.



One of

the IHD

s specific objectives
,
an inventory of the world

s water
balance
,
was accomplished not long after the end of the Decade with the 1978
publication in English by UNESCO of
World Water Balance and Water Resources
of the Earth
.
16

This comprehensive
inventory provided previously unavailable
basic data at different scales; more significantly, it offered the possibility of
assessing the state of the planet

s available water resources. In the process, the
Decade prompted a succession of publications
,

su
ch as an authoritative glossary
and numerous monographs, papers, reports, educational materials, and other
documents. In addition, IHD convened at least 25 major international
conferences, helped train technicians, and generally raised the profile of the
study of water and its problems.


The International Hydrological Programme (IHP)





15

This feature formed the basi
s of the Decade’s successor institution, the International
Hydrological Programme.


16

The volume, whose principal author was V. I. Korzun (Korzoun is the French
transliteration) appeared first in Russian in 1974; it later was published in Spanish.


14




The International Hydrological Decade

s last action was a large scientific
conference held in Paris in 1974. The final report of the IHD showed that more
than 100 nation
s had taken part in the Decade, confirming the organizers


hunch
that scientific cooperation would transcend political differences (Korzoun 1991).
The immediate question raised by the apparent success of the Decade was how to
harness the energy it had gen
erated and carry forward its unfulfilled ambitions.

To realize this goal, the participants in the closing conference decided to view the
just
-
concluded IH
D

as the first part of an organic, long
-
term program.
Accordingly, UNESCO

s 1974 General Conference
took the lead in transforming
the Decade into a periodically renewable institution it called the International
Hydrological Programme (IHP). In doing so, UNESCO agreed to house and
support the IHP.



The goal of the new effort was similar to that of the D
ecade: to strengthen
the connections between scientific research, application, and education in the
realm of water. To quote its mission statement, the International Hydrological
Programme, an intergovernmental scientific cooperative program in water
reso
urces
,

was to be

a vehicle through which Member States
[could]
upgrade
their knowledge of the water cycle and thereby increase their capacity to better
manage and develop their water resources


(UNESCO 2003). At its outset, 30
countries participated as m
ember states in IHP, with an additional 19 observer
nations (UNESCO 1975
-
2002); IHP has since grown to include 164 national
committees representing member states.
17



Organizationally, IHP has existed in periodically redefined increments, each
administered

by UNESCO. The first, IHP
-
I, began immediately after the IHD
and lasted five years, through 1980. Successive phases
,
each with its own set of
themes, objectives, workplans, and budgets
,
were IHP
-
II (1981
-
1983), IHP
-
III
(1984
-
1989), IHP
-
IV (1990
-
1995), I
HP
-
V (1996
-
2001), and the current IHP
-
VI,
which runs from 2002 through 2007.



The principal intent of the phased approach was to permit the institution to
adapt and redefine itself to reflect changing sensibilities and scientific paradigms.
As an example
, perhaps in response to criticism of its overreliance on science and
technology, in 1981 IHP added a practical aspect to its purpose, emphasizing and
developing methods for the

rational management of water resources.

18

In




17

Som
e of this growth,
of course
,

has been due to the increase in the number of states in
the UN itself. The members of IHP are distributed as follows: Africa, 43; Arab States, 18; Asia
and the Pacific, 24; Europe and North America, 43; Latin America and the Ca
ribbean, 36
(UNESCO 2003).


18

This phrase was the theme of IHP
-
II and IHP
-
III, between 1981 and 1989.


15

1990, following the recommenda
tions of the pioneering Brundtland Commission
report, the term

sustainability


gained a central place in IHP

s mission. That
same year, further responding to the times, IHP adopted a more integrated view
of water management by acknowledging the importanc
e of
the
environment.
Thus, the theme for IHP
-
IV was
,


Hydrology and Water Resources: Sustainable
Development in a Changing Environment.


By the late 1990s, as observers
began worrying about global warming and other extreme climatic events, IHP
-
V
direct
ed its emphasis to

Hydrology and Water Resources Development in a
Vulnerable Environment.


The present program, IHP
-
VI, continues this focus
and adds a previously
-
absent human/social element via the theme,

Water
Interactions: Systems at Risk and Social

Challenges.


In addition, throughout its
existence, IHP has tried to respond to the

North
-
South


dialogue by training
scientists and technicians in developing countries (UNESCO 1975
-
2002,
UNESCO 2003).



Like the IHD that preceded it, the International
Hydrological Programme
has been an engine of activity.
It had an important role in promoting such

influential conferences such as the 1977 UN Conference on Water in Del Plata
(see Table 2) and numerous scientific studies, training programs, and
publicatio
ns. But the IHP

s most significant contribution may be due less to the
weight of its achievements
per se
than to its institutional centrality, persistence,
and resilience. By offering a permanent forum for water
-
related interests, IHP
has been well
-
posit
ioned to encourage multinational cooperation and stimulate
innovative approaches to water science and management.



16

G
LOBAL
W
ATER
I
NITIATIVES
:

T
OWARD A
H
ISTORICAL
P
ARADIGM


Types of institutions and processes



To
date
we have seen the
four
earliest types o
f global water
initiatives
: the
venerable professional societies; a one
-
time, designated time period (IHD);
a
thematic program that addressed a family of environmental problems (ACAZR),
and a dedicated, UN
-
based institution (IHP). Of these, the effects of

professional societies and

of the IHP have been discussed.


The section below
accordingly reviews
the creation of thematic eras other than the IHD
,

the
establishment of other thematic initiatives, and

the contributions of organized
events.


Designated Per
iods



The International Hydrological Decade, as noted, was inspired by the
International Geophysical Year. Other such time periods have been infrequent,
but two are worth mentioning. The first, the International Drinking Water
Supply and Sanitation Deca
de (DWSSD), was declared in 1981, six years after
the end of the IHD. This effort aimed to redress massive shortages of access to
potable water and sewerage. As such, it coincided with the IHP

s then
-
new
emphasis on practical, on
-
the
-
ground programs that

would benefit disadvantaged
sectors of society.



A dozen years after the DWSSD ended, it was clear that much of the world
continued to lack

safe drinking water.
19

Indeed, by this time, many observers had
begun referring to the problem as

the world wate
r crisis


(Prince of Orange
2003). Beginning at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and through the 2002 World
Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, experts,
officials, and activists began calling for comprehensive steps to address this crisi
s
(Cosgrove 1999
;
Cosgrove and Rijsberman 2000). Improving water management,
according to this view, could only be achieved via far
-
reaching measures that
would include population reduction, improved
women’s education, reformed
modes of water governance,
and new economic approaches.
20

One attempt to
realize some of these aims was the 2003 International Year of Freshwater (IYF).
As that year comes to a close, the crisis is not perceptibly closer to resolution.





19

According to the World Water Development Report, “hardly any” of the water and
sanitation goals for developing nations have been achieved (WWAP 2003,

Barry 2003).


20

“Private
-
sector participation,” one of the commonly proposed economic measures
(Prince of Orange 2003), has been taken by many environmentalists and anti
-
globalization

activists as a euphemism for privatization. Valuation of water and i
ts perceived consequences
have accordingly proven to be extremely controversial (Cesano and Gustafsson 2000).


17



Other such periods have been proposed. One

attempt was an unsuccessful
call for a Second International Hydrological Decade (Shuttleworth 1999;
Entekhabi, et al. 1999).
21

The





21

Although the call for a Second Decade was not successful, the process yielded a new
global program, the HELP Initiative, which is discussed b
elow (HELP 2001).


18

Table 2. Significant Events and Periods relating to Global Water Initiatives


Designated Period

Event



Date(s)

Venue


International
Hydrological Decade
(IHD)

..............................




International Drinking
Water Supply &
Sanitation Decade
(DWSSD)

.......................









International Year of
Freshwater (IYF)

..........





................................
................................
................................
....


UN Conference on the Human Environment

.......................


UN Conference on
Water

................................
........................





................................
................................
................................
....


International Conference on Water and the Environment

..


UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth
Summit)

................................
................................
.....................


First World Water Forum

................................
........................


International Conference on Water and Sustainable
Development

................................
................................
.............


Second World Water Forum

................................
...................


International C
onference on Freshwater

...............................


World Summit on Sustainable Development

.........................




................................
................................
................................
....


Third World Water Forum

................................
......................





1965
-
74

1972

1977



1981
-
90

1992

1992

1997

1998

2000

2001

2002


2003

2003




Stockholm,
Sweden

Mar del Plata,
Argen.




Dublin, Ireland

Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil

Marrakech,
Morocco

Paris, France

The Hague, Neth.

Bonn, Germany

Johannesburg, S.
Afr.



Kyoto, Japan


19


Source: “Milestones,” World Water Assessment Programme (2003): pp. 24
-
28.




20


most recent example of such an initiative was in September 2003; representa
tives
of 53 countries at a global freshwater forum in Tajikistan appealed for a “Decade
of Water and Life,” to extend from 2005 to 2015 under the aegis of UNDP.
Actual designated periods of water awareness are shown in Table 2.


Organized Events



An extr
emely common type of global water initiative has been the organized
conference. Both modern diplomats and modern academics have evinced a
fondness for large

watershed


summits that unite diverse participants and aim
to resolve outstanding issues. Since
its creation the United Nations, too, has
favored this mode of problem resolution. The various agencies such as FAO,
WHO, WMO, UNEP, and UNESCO have convened hundreds of forums,
conferences, and so
-
called megaconferences. Noteworthy events

many of them
s
ponsored or cosponsored by UN agencies

at which water was a major topic are
shown in Table 2. Some, such as the
acclaimed
1972 Stockholm Conference on
the Human Environment, addressed all
-
inclusive environmental themes,
including water. Others, such as th
e 1977 UN Conference on Water in Mar Del
Plata and the 1992 International Conference on Water and the Environment in
Dublin, were entirely dedicated to addressing the world

s water. The largest and
most recent have been the three triennial World Water For
ums (1997, 2000, and
2003
),
the latter two attended by more than 5,000 persons

each
.



These periodic events generally have been well attended and have fielded
ambitious, wide
-
ranging, and crowded agendas. In keeping with the modes and
notions of the tim
es, they have featured a succession of problem
-
framing
principles such as sustainability, biodiversity, integrated water resources
management (IWRM), bottom
-
up decisionmaking, and equity. Further, as
interdisciplinarity has become more current and as nong
overnmental
organizations (NGOs) have gained prominence, participants have been drawn
from broader and more diverse backgrounds. At their closures, the conferences
have typically issued declarations, produced detailed proceedings and other
subsidiary prod
ucts, and attracted media coverage.



Usually, these summits have yielded thoughtful, well
-
intentioned
documents. The most outstanding of these manifestos, which often embody the
visions of charismatic and committed individuals, have left permanent mile
posts
and building blocks for future actions. Action plans such as the 1977

Mar del
Plata Action Plan


and the 1992

Agenda 21,


and pronouncements such as the
1992

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,


the 1992

Dublin
Statement on Water and

Sustainable Development,


and the 2000

World Water
Vision


typify influential outputs (WWAP 2003). But even at their best
,
when

21

blueprints and declarations are innovative, clear, forceful, and universally
endorsed
,
they tend to be idealistic, well
-
inten
tioned expressions that for lack of
resources
or sustained political will
go largely unimplemented.



Too often, the energy and enthusiasm that are manifest at these gatherings
dissipate rapidly and leave few lasting traces. Indeed, the elusive outcome
te
rmed

networking


may best characterize the benefits of such forums.
Paradoxically, even as their popularity and legitimacy grow, the effectiveness of
these programs remains relative, unmeasured, and not always
evident
(Speth
2003, Falkenmark 2001).

Indep
endent, Multinational Water Initiatives



The cauldron of ideas and activity generated by professional societies,
the
IHD and other
designated periods, summits, and the IHP clearly elevated the
profile of global water issues. A more lasting impact may be
that the existence of
these institutions spawned new alliances and organizations. At
certain times
elements of the above institutions came together to pursue distinctive water
-
centered agendas.



Beginning in the early 1950s, but especially in the years

following the IHD

and often prompted or supported by the IHP

numerous multinational
initiatives were launched; Table 3 provides a sampling of the most prominent
initiatives. Some of these were aimed at particular water
-
related sectors (e.g.,
irrigation a
nd agriculture, waterworks construction, water supply and allocation,
drinking water and sanitation, public health, inland basins, groundwater,
wetlands, ocean waters, climate, and ice); some represented disciplinary
orientations (e.g., hydrology, ecology,

climatology, environmental health, social
sciences, and law); and some were expressions of particulars visions (e.g.,
sustainability, food and water security, interdisciplinarity, environmental justice,

environmentology,


stakeholder involvement, science
-
policy dialogues, and
conflict resolution).



As Table 3 illustrates, the earliest of these organizations, the International
Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), was formed in 1950, not long
after the creation of the United Nations. ICID was and

remains an institution
whose principal interest is sectoral
:
agricultural water management.
22

But at its
inception its distinctive

perhaps even unique

feature was that it considered
itself an

international scientific, technical, and voluntary not
-
for
-
pr
ofit
nongovernmental organization.


That string of terms has become a common




22

ICID accomplishes much of its work through triennial World Irrigation and Drainage
Congresses, which it has organized since 1951 (ICID homepage,
http://www.icid.org/index_e.html;

si
te visited 13 Nov. 2003).


22

descriptor of environmental NGOs since the mid
-
1970s, but a quarter
-
century
earlier it was highly unusual for organizations to pursue transnational objectives
independently and v
oluntarily. Further adding to its pioneer status, unlike the
large majority of global water initiatives that are western in orientation and
provenance, ICID has been based in India.



The next important independent institution to arise was a direct outgro
wth
of the Decade. The Working Group on Representative and Experimental Basins
was set up in 1965 after an early IHD symposium. Like ICID, this working group
“acted as a nucleus” for professionals and organized periodic symposia over a
long period (Colen
brander 1991: 9). It doubtless was one of the seeds of a major
initiative, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), which was
established in 1980 under sponsorship by a professional society (ICSU) and two
UN agencies (WMO and UNESCO). Further illust
rating the process of
evolution and replication, WCRP was the progenitor in 1988 of the Global
Energy and Water Cycle Experiment, or GEWEX, which is vigorously active and
offers an umbrella for serious hydrological research.



23

Table 3. Examples of Influen
tial Nongovernmental or
Inter
governmental Global Water
Initiatives


Institution

Date
establishe
d

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)

................................
................................
....


Working Group on Representative and Experimental Basins

................................
................................
......


RAMSAR (Ramsar Convention on Wetlands)

................................
................................
..............................


I
nternational Hydrological Programme (IHP; based at UNESCO)

................................
.............................


World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)

................................
................................
..............................


GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment)

................................
................................
..............


Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

................................
................................
....


International Human Dimensions Program on Glob
al Environmental Change (IHDP)

..........................


Biospheric Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle (BAHC)

................................
................................
................


International Network on Participatory Irrigation Management (INPIM)

................................
.................


Global Water Partnership (GWP)

................................
................................
................................
....................


World Water Council (WWC)

................................
................................
................................
..........................


World Commission on Water for the 21st Cen
tury

................................
................................
........................


Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA)

................................
................................
........................


Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy (HELP)

................................
................................
...................


World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

................................
................................
...........................


Dialogue on Water & Climate/Cooperative Program on Water & Climate (DWC/CPWP)

.....................


Global Water System Project (GWS
P)

................................
................................
................................
............



1950

1965

1971

1975

1980

1988

1990

1990

1992

1994

1996

1996

1998

1999

1999

2000

2001

2002


24


Since the late 1980s there has been a steady stream of new independent,
multinational water initiatives. Table 3, which identifies 18 of the most
influential

of these institutions, shows that all but five were formed after 1988.
All of these can be characterized as nongovernmental or
inter
governmental and
all display truly global

and sometimes overlapping

missions.
23



The Big Four





The four largest, most
active, and arguably best
-
financed global water
initiatives of this type have arisen recently, since 1996. Two of these, the World
Water Council (WWC) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP), have palpably
activist aims and appear to be the most ambitious
and comprehensive. They
mean to promote particular, forward
-
looking approaches to water management.
Their general goal is to improve access to water and thus reduce poverty and
enhance security. The other two, the Global International Waters Assessment
(GIWA) and the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) have less
activist orientations; as their names imply, they seek instead to assess the world

s
water situation.



The World Water Council, which was created in 1996, is based in Marseille,
France. WWC

has more than 300 members representing NGOs, UN agencies,
and public
-

and private
-
sector organizations in some 50 countries. Its annual
budget is on the order of 1.5 million Euros. WWC is best known for two things: a
grand, forward
-
looking manifesto, an
d a series of ever
-
larger conferences. In
2000 WWC published the

World Water Vision,


a document outlining its

vision for water, life and the environment in the 21st century


(Cosgrove and
Rijsberman 2000, Cosgrove 1999). And since 1997, WWC has been t
he chief
organizer and convener of the three World Water Forums in Marrakech, The
Hague, and Kyoto (Table 2).



The Stockholm
-
based Global Water Partnership was established in the same
year as the WWC and is moved by similarly progressive ideals, as embodi
ed in
the

Dublin
-
Rio principles.

24

GWP is supported financially by a dozen national
governments as well as the World Bank, UNDP, and the Ford Foundation. Its
members, like those of WWC, are institutions, not individuals. One way GWP
attempts to shape
water policy is via a series of working papers. In particular,
because GWP is strongly moved by the concept of holistic management, it has




23

In the strictest sense, all except IHP, WCRP, and WWAP clearly are NGOs. Some of
these organizations, such as the World Water Council, following the IHP model, rely partly on
official representation by participating governmen
ts. Others, like GWP, include national
governments among its sponsors.


24

After the two 1992 conferences (see Table 2).


25

developed what it calls a

ToolBox on Integrated Water Resources Management
(IWRM)


and published what it considers
a definitive working paper on IWRM
(GWP 2000).
25



The Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) is a creature of two
large organizations: the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and
the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
26
. I
t has been finance
d principally by
GEF and secondarily by three national governments (the U.S., Finland, and
Sweden). GIWA was set up to produce a comprehensive and integrated global
assessment of international waters to be used by GEF and donors as baseline
information fo
r their funding decisions. Unlike the two
initiatives

discussed
above, GIWA was not intended as a permanent program; it was scheduled to
submit its assessment and terminate its activities at the end of 2003. A
s of

this
writing, it appears that GIWA will
continue to exist provisionally in order to
fulfill its objectives.



The other major assessment activity has been the World Water Assessment
Programme. WWAP, like GIWA, is an impermanent institution. It was set up in
2000 with the initial purpose of pre
paring a comprehensive report to be made
available at the Third World Water Forum in 2003 and a longer
-
term objective of
replicating the process at regular intervals for future forums.
27

As indicated by
the report

s subtitle,

The United Nations World Wat
er Development Report,


the document represents a UN
-
wide statement.



Funds
for
WWAP

s first two reports have been provided mostly by the
Japanese government. But in recognition of WWAP

s global mission, the
program has been housed at UNESCO, under th
e aegis of the IHP. Like GIWA,
WWAP expects its assessments to facilitate better understanding of processes,
practices, and policies. The process assumes, as does the GIWA exercise, that
better information will help improve the world

s water situation.
WWAP

s
lifespan has been extended to at least 2006, though it is implementing its second
phase with about half the resources
of

the first phase.





25

GWP lists WWC as a participating institution. WWC, by contrast, does not include
GWP in its list of members.


26

GEF is itself fi
nanced by three sponsoring organizations: UNEP, UNDP, and World
Bank. According to its Web site, GEF’s mission is to “help developing countries fund projects
and programs that protect the global environment.”
http://www.gefweb.org/index.html

(site
visited 14 Nov. 2003).


27

The document, a 576
-
page tome titled, “World Water Development Report,” was
published by UNESCO in 2003 and was distributed at the forum (WWAP 2003). A second
edition is now under prep
aration.


26


Other
n
oteworthy
i
nitiatives


Although they are neither as ambitious nor as well endowed as the

Big
Four,


th
ree additional global water
initiatives

merit some discussion. The oldest
of these is the HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy) Initiative.
Conceived in 1998 by a group of hydrologists, HELP

s central premise has been
to expand the purvie
w of hydrology to include humans and the environment
;
a
sort of

human dimensions


program for water.
28

This tack, they believed, could
help dissolve the barriers separating water scientists, managers, and stakeholders.
In this respect, HELP, like WWC an
d GWP, is action
-
oriented and is attempting
to demonstrate its integrated approach on the ground, via a catchment
-
based
approach. In 2003 the HELP network includes about 30 basins around the
world; a call for new proposals is expected to expand that numbe
r. Since 1999,
HELP has been based at IHP, but it
is sparsely funded

and requires that
participating basins provide their own resources (HELP 2001, HELP 2003).



The Dialogue on Water and Climate (DWC), renamed in 2003 the Co
-
operative Program on Water an
d Climate (CPWC), was initiated in 2001. As its
name implies, this initiative has sought to link two previously weakly
-
connected
domains: water management and climate prediction. At a time of heightened
attention to global climate change and variability
, the Dutch government and
other donors established a fixed
-
life program to encourage communication
between water scientists and managers, climate experts, government officials, and
stakeholders.



Through a network of actual dialogues in 18 basins, nation
s, and regions
across the globe, DWC, like HELP
,

sought to demonstrate that progress could be
made in the field. In addition, in the manner of GIWA and WWAP, DWC
commissioned a series of thematic scientific studies to supplement the dialogues.
Unlike HEL
P, DWC provided funds to participating dialogues and
to
the studies.
The program produced a major report for the Third World Water Forum and is
set to continue as CPWC (Kabat and van Schaik 2003).
29



The third and newest initiative is the Global Water Sy
stem Project (GWSP),
which has operated since 2002. Because it is almost exclusively a scientific
undertaking, its goal

like
those
of the GIWA and WWAP programs

is better




28

The term refers to the International Human Dimensions Program on Global
Environmental Change (IHDP) and related programs that attempt to give weight to the role of
humans and society in environmental processes.


29

The author is principal investigator for projects that are part of both the HELP Initiative
and the DWC/CPWC (in the Upper San Pedro basin on the U.S.
-
Mexico border).


27

information. The main activity of the GWSP is the

Virtual Water Pilot Project,


wh
ich studies the phenomenon of

virtual water


and its trade.
30

Also like GIWA
and WWAP, GWSP assumes that policymaking intrinsically will benefit from
access to better information. The Global Water System Project is supported by
IHDP, WCRP, and the Inter
national Geosphere
-
Biosphere Program (GWSP
2003).



The seven initiatives discussed briefly above represent a cross
-
section of the
movements, organizations, and efforts that have arisen over the past decade. The
advent of these internationally

oriented, n
ongovernmental institutions is a
development with parallels in other domain
s

such as public health and
agriculture. Like those, it is distinctive and remarkable. The networks within
which these initiatives function, the connections between organizations,

and the
varieties of missions and strategies expressed are as yet poorly understood and
merit further study.


An Initial Paradigm



The preceding sections have reviewed the genesis of several types of
institutions. In their ensemble, the institutions und
oubtedly have helped
generate knowledge, increase scientific cooperation, and encourage transnational
governance. And while they have expressed their objectives in disparate ways,
the initiatives examined have shared an overriding interest in a single sub
ject: the
world

s water. Although the workings and interrelationships of the various
institutions are not yet fully understood, it is possible to propose a paradigm for
their evolution. The foregoing discussion suggests several historical processes,
usua
lly reflective of the times,





30

GWSP defines virtual water as the water used to produce the goods that a country
impo
rts, or alternatively, the water that a country would require to produce domestically the
goods that it imports.

From

To

Professional concerns and desire to
improve science, understanding, and
communication

................................
...........


Multilateral efforts to address water
issues on a global scale

Aggregated attempts to consider global
water problems (like the IH
D)

.................


Specific sectoral, thematic and issue
-
oriented approaches


28

T
able 4. I
nitial Paradigm for Evolu
tion of Global Water Initiative
Understanding that water is an
important resource

................................
....


Recognition that access to potable
water and sewage is a key to
development and poverty reduction

Impulse to move beyond data
acquisition and

theory

...............................


Determination to improve on
-
the
-
ground conditions via tailored programs

Desire to harness science and
technology in order to effect change

........


Definition of ambitious, progressive,
action
-
oriented agendas

Large multiobjective programs (like
WWC and

GWP) and approaches (like
IWRM) with overarching goals

................


Smaller, tailored programs (like HELP
and DWC/CPWC) that focus on
characteristics and procedures that
make water management more efficient,
responsive, equitable,
and
conflict
-
reductive



29

often occurring simultaneously. Table 4 is a tentative schematic presentation of
this evolutionary process over the past half
-
century.



Two common threads running through these initiatives are wort
h noting.
The first is that since 1975, the evolution shown in Table 4 has occurred in the
presence of the International Hydrological Programme. Even when some of the
emerging initiatives have diverged in multiple directions, the constancy of IHP

s
exist
ence has no doubt helped sustain and nourish the phenomenon. A second
important commonality is that the evolving institutions appear to be motivated by
genuinely multilateral principles.
31

While global water initiatives have attempted
to redress the inab
ility of individual countries to transcend national
interests
(Keohane, et al. 1994), they have generally shunned

official


methods such as
treaties and other negotiated accords. Rather, these initiatives have evolved
mostly via nongovernmental or quasig
overnmental programs. The resulting
freedom from diplomatic constraints has fostered creativity, innovation, and
enthusiasm that are often absent in government
-
sponsored undertakings. Yet
the initiatives have often overlapped, duplicated effort, and diss
ipated without
accomplishing the sweeping changes intended by their creators.



W
HAT
D
OES
I
T
A
LL
M
EAN
?



The discussion of the roots and development of global water initiatives has
attempted to chronicle their vigor, resilience, and intended influence. Th
e
largest remaining task is to assess their actual accomplishments in

the world of
water,


as A. K. Biswas has termed the target of all the efforts. In short, what has
been the relationship between the documented institutional processes and real
changes
occasioned by demography, development, globalization, and other
forces? To push the question even further, what is the extent to which any
improvements in conditions might be due to specific initiatives? Further still, can
real changes in policy be attri
buted to these institutions?



Such an evaluation is beyond the scope of the present essay, but it is possible
to place the phenomenon in perspective by asking whether the numerous,
disparate institutions born over the past several decades have worked towa
rd
compatible objectives.






31

The question of whether the initiatives are always altruistically motivated is more
difficult to assess. Undoubtedly, idealism has driven

most of the process. But harnessing this
idealism for certain advantages, perhaps national advantages, also may have been a factor in
certain instances.


30

Are Global Water Initiatives Pulling Together?



In many areas, the various initiatives

either collectively or individually

have had demonstrable successes. Most visibly, they have helped lower
transnational and transdisciplinar
y communication barriers; catalogued and
analyzed massive amounts of data and thereby greatly enhanced understanding
of the global water cycle; developed better scientific products and techniques to
improve water management; and encouraged greater public p
articipation.



But a glance at their mission statements suggests that at times, global water
initiatives have likely struggled internally to construe themselves and contended
with each other for influence. Tugged by opposing disciplines, ideologies, or

personalities, some may have aimed too narrowly, others too broadly. As
seriously, the actions of the numerous initiatives have on occasion overlapped. In
short, the collection of institutions at play has been a laboratory for a number of
interinstituti
onal and intrainstitutional tensions. Table 5 identifies some of the
most evident of these.


Table 5. Institutional Tensions


Issue

Tension

Primary purpose or
raison d

tre

Furthering science and knowledge
vs.

inducing change
in human conditions

Disciplinary basis

Basic science
vs
. applied science

Hydrology
vs.

other physical sciences

Science
vs.

engineering

Physical science
vs.

social science

Water sector of
interest

Water quantity
vs.
water quality

Surface water
vs.
groundwater

Continental water
vs.

coastal and oceanic water

View of development


乯牴h


vs.


卯畴h


䥮瑥gra瑥搠
vs.

sectoral approach

Environmental sustainability
vs.

economic sustainability

Ideology

Dipl
omatic
vs.

informal solutions

Private rights and markets
vs.

community

property


呯T
-
摯睮


vs.


b潴t潭
-



m慮慧eme湴 灲ac瑩tes

Ce湴r慬ize搠
vs.

decentralized management practices


31

Hegemony

Dominance by one initiative
vs.

shared influence

Central role for U
N
vs.

shared influence

Primacy by one
vs.

another UN agency

Conflict of interest

Interlocking directorships

Interests of institution
vs.
interests of funding agency




The types of divisive forces identified in Table 5 certainly are not unique to water
i
nitiatives
; most if not all institutional networks are subject to such tensions. Often, too, open
debates over such fundamental issues as an organization

s
raison d

tre

or its view of
development can be healthy and invigorating. But other tensions
,
for example, questions of
primacy or conflict of interest
,
can divide institutions. Similarly, overlap, duplication, and
competition for scarce financial resources have
served to undermine the overall effectiveness of
global water initiatives.



32

Prospects



The present essay has offered a preliminary exploration of the global water
initiative process. This process has been seen to be vital, dynamic, and very much
still i
n play. Although, as the preceding section has suggested, the phenomenon
is not monolithic, unidirectional, or precisely aimed, it continues to offer
prospects for progress. But until instruments can be developed to measure and
attribute progress, the de
gree to which the many
,
sometimes competing
,

activities

are effective on the ground cannot properly be gauged. A signal task is to
identify which programs have achieved their aims and which have not, and to
determine the ingredients of success and failure
.



The results should interest physical scientists, social scientists, planners,
managers, diplomats, leaders of the global water initiative phenomenon, and
especially decisionmakers, who according to water historian Martin Reuss
,


need
to ask questions a
bout history and to reflect on the past before they can address
contemporary challenges


(2000).



A
CKNOWLEDGMENTS



The present work could not have been accomplished without the benefit of a
year

s sabbatical granted by the author

s home institution, The
University of
Arizona (UA). There, special thanks go to Stephen Cornell, the director of the
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, and Richard Powell, Vice President for
Research and Graduate Studies, for their strong support; and to W. James
Shuttle
worth, UA professor of Hydrology and Water Resources, who offered
valuable advice and encouragement during the conceptual phase of this project.
My colleagues
, Anne
-
Browning
-
Aiken at the Udall Center and Alexander Otte
of UNESCO, have generously reviewed
the manuscript
, which Kim Leeder of the
Udall Center copyedited.



The author also gratefully acknowledges Andras Szöllösi
-
Nagy and Michael
Bonell of UNESCO

s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) for their
hospitality, support, assistance, and intere
st during the sabbatical, hosted by IHP
in Paris.
M
any others at IHP and elsewhere at UNESCO have been forthcoming
and helpful in launching the study. Michel Batisse, one of the founders of the
International Hydrological Decade and a longtime, now
-
retire
d UNESCO
official, merits special recognition for his willingness to share recollections and
his
review of and
encouragement for my work.



33


My acknowledgments would be incomplete if I failed to recognize the
influence on my thinking of the HELP (Hydrology
for Environment, Life and
Policy) Initiative. It is through close familiarity with and involvement in that
program

which has been headquartered at IHP and coordinated by Michael
Bonell

that my attention was first drawn to the global water initiatives
phen
omenon that is the subject of this essay.



Because the work is in its early stages, the list of collaborators and
informants will grow substantially as the year progresses and as the project
achieves full maturity.



34

A
CRONYMS

ACAZR

........


BAHC

...........


COWAR
.......


DWC/CPW
C

....................


DWSSD

........


FAO

..............


GEWEX

.......


GIWA

...........


GWP

.............


GWSP

...........


HELP

............


IAEA

............


IAH

...............


IAHR

............


IAHS

.............


IBRD

............


ICID

..............


ICSU

.............


IGY

...............


IHA

...............


IHD

...............


IHDP

............


IHP
................


INPIM

..........


IUGG

...........


IWA

..............


IWALC

.........


IWRA

...........


IWRM

..........


IYF

................


MAB

.............


PIANC

..........


RAMSAR

....


SIL

................


UATI

............


UNDP

...........


UNEP

...........


UNICEF

UNESCO

.....


WHO

............


WMO

............


WSSCC

.........


WSSD

...........


WWAP

.........


WWC

............


WWF

............



Advisor
y Committee on Arid Zone Research

Biospheric Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle

Committee on Water Research

Dialogue on Water & Climate/Cooperative Program on Water &
Climate

International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade

Food and Agriculture O
rganization (UN)

Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment

Global International Waters Assessment

Global Water Partnership

Global Water System Project

Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy

International Atomic Energy Agency (UN)

International Ass
ociation of Hydrogeologists

International Association for Hydraulic Research

International Association of Hydrological Sciences

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World
Bank)

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage

Internat
ional Council for Science

International Geophysical Year (1957
-
58)

International Hydropower Association

International Hydrological Decade (1965
-
74)

International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Envir.
Change

International Hydrological Programme (UNE
SCO)

International Network on Participatory Irrigation Management

International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics

International Water Association

International Water Associations Liaison Committee

International Water Resources Association

Integrated Water R
esources Management

International Year of Freshwater

Man and the Bisophere Programme (UNESCO)

International Navigation Organization

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology

International Union of Technica
l Associations and Organizations

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Environmental Programme

United Nations Children

s Fund

Formerly, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization

World Health Organization (UN)

Word Mete
orological Organization (UN)

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

World Summit on Sustainable Development

World Water Assessment Programme (UNESCO)


35



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