3. Fresh water management
Convenors: Emilio Custodio, Ad Jeuken, Shah Alam Khan, Holly Michael, Gualbert Oude Essink
Fresh water may seem abundant in deltas. However, this should not be taken for granted. Socio-economic developments, ineffective water policies and governance, anthropogenic and developmental stressors and climate change induced natural hazards, sea level rise and salinity intrusion affect the fresh water availability in many different ways. Consequently, availability of water required for drinking, agriculture, industries, ecosystems and subsistence uses is at stake.
Water managers, in particular those in the vulnerable deltas, can choose two strategies: to resist and mitigate these deteriorating trends of less fresh water availability, for example by taking technical measures, or to accept them and try to find more efficient practices for management of water demand and supply. While water supply can be increased by various storage augmentation solutions, for example sub-soil storage (ASR), water demand can be decreased by reducing water intensive activities backed up by policy and institutional interventions or by introducing innovative practices such as the use of less drought and salt sensitive crop varieties.
This theme covers (applied) research about how deltas can be adapted to threats of salinisation and increasing uncertainties of fresh water supply. This includes technical, economic, policy and spatial planning strategies that can be adopted for improved water demand and supply management and may include links with upstream developments and possible solutions at the scale of river basins. Case studies focussing on strategies that increase supply or decrease demand (or a combination) are welcome. Impact studies are welcome as well, but preference is given to impact studies of adaptation strategies and measures.