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Effective Efficiency and EASI Sustainability Matrix as Tools for Integrated Water Resources Management

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Naim Haie, Andrew A. Keller
Naim Haie, PEPEF Facility, University of Minho, Campus of Azurem, Guimar„es, Portugal. Corresponding Email: Andrew A. Keller, Vice-President, Keller-Bliesner Engineering, Logan, Utah, USA

Keyword(s): Effective Efficiency, EASI Matrix, Integrated Water Resources Management - IWRM, Nile Valley, Imperial Irrigation District, Sustainable Development
Abstract Seemingly uncontrollable worldwide drivers are making freshwater a resource with increasing scarcity and value. Global pressures such as climate change, environmental concerns, population increase, economic prosperity, and political favouritism are among the major issues disturbing the state of this life giving resource today. Freshwater is a renewable resource but it is generally limited when and where needed hence motivating researchers, planners and policy makers to look for new sources of water and innovative approaches for managing it. One of the important tools in any portfolio of measures to combat water scarcity and adapt to global warming is to make water resources systems more efficient. However classical efficiency defined as the ratio of the beneficial output to input does not work in water system analysis because of scale, water quality and recycling. Integrating these factors into the equation, effective efficiency (EEF) emerges as a model for better integrated water management. Two scales inside a river basin were distinguished within which is possible to apply a quantity / quality model or calculate a quantity only EEF. On the other hand, sustainability is the main axis upon which one should decide on interventions such as increasing EEF. For example, it has been shown that a sustainable water resources system might not be economically efficient and vice-versa. So the objective of this research was to explain EEF and incorporate it into a sustainability index that can improve practices of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) at the river basin level. Consequently, to help guide water management and policy decisions in using EEF, a qualitative Efficiency and Adequacy based Sustainability Index for water (EASI Matrix) was developed. It relates the possibilities of improving EEF in different water quantity and quality conditions. Besides these, four other relevant factors were included in the Matrix: Need, Success Potential, and Cost of intervention are set qualitatively and possible types of Focus of intervention are recommended. As such 27 EASI types were identified that can help in deciding the type of interventions more appropriate for the case at hand. Different colours were used to help distinguish the EASI types. These main colours can be used at the water basin level or lower to help designers and managers. However the EASI types were also divided into 3 colours in order to be used in regional and country mappings. EEF and EASI were applied to two irrigation cases located in the Nile Valley, Egypt, and the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), United States. The results show their usefulness in promoting a sustainable and efficient water saving scheme. For example, this analyses show that in both cases, improving EEF should not be the number one priority of the water managers.
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