COMMENT :Discuss and illustrate the frequency and location of drought and floods in both regions, in relation to flooding (terrain analysis is integral to your research)Discuss and illustrate fine-grain drought mitigation strategies employed in both cases focusing on design issues (Basin Plan in the case of CRB and Falaj in the case of Wadi Hanafi)Attached are my research and two articles that will help with Colorado and the falaj system (USE them for illustrations/diagrams).COMPARATIVE WATER MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Comparative Water Management Strategies
Hamdi Alotaibi
Water management is crucial for regional development in society today. This is because a
significant proportion of the earth’s environment is made up of water. Freshwater is at a
staggering 3 percent and is found in glaciers, underground water, and ice caps. Out of that
margin, 0.3 percent of it is what we call surface water used by the community. Freshwater has a
lot of purpose as all sectors of the economy are dependent on it, such as; household usage,
hydroelectric power, running industries, and irrigation purposes. It sustainability mechanism for
the human population; therefore, its management ought to be a priority. Global warming has
played a considerable part in water availability deterioration, for it changes the water flow. The
rapid temperature rise has high levels of evapotranspiration and melting levels at the source of
rivers. It makes it harder for the department authorities to extrapolate past patterns into the
future. In arid areas, population growth has been slowed down by a lack of water availability.
World history
As discussed earlier, the importance of water in the domestic, commercial, economic sectors, and
modern times has been used to increase crucial ecosystems’ sustainability. Through research on
ancient civilizations, we learn that extensive irrigation was the primary factor that led to the
massive development of the cities through surplus agricultural products. “Hydraulic societies”
refers to some ancient semi-arid regions, including Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia. They
practiced extensive irrigation, which enabled them to become more superior and advanced
societies. The rural areas in those societies were the reason for the growth. They improved their
water management strategies, leading to the surplus growth of agricultural products and
increasing population growth. The surplus food would be delivered to growing cities to sustain
the economy. In urban society, the government has taken an enormous interest in water
management strategies through complex irrigation and dams, which affect the supply of water.
Rapid changes in climate and overpopulation have been significant factors affecting great
civilizations. It compelled them to adapt to more effective strategies to sustain the already
limited water availability. It starts with an economy being stagnant; then it starts deteriorating
before it collapses entirely. As a population grows, the need for water increases to facilitate
regional growth. Such factors led to societies being more innovative in water management
strategies through advanced technology. It affects power balances in a community; it can be
supported through research when power balance was altered due to progressive industrialization
that was steam-powered. The Colorado River Basin is among the areas that have recorded an
increased population, which has led to the increased demand for water and a change in the
region’s climate. Due to increased scarcity, authority heads of water ought to adopt innovative
responses to mitigate these risks.
The Colorado River
It is represented by the diagram below.
Located in the United States, this basin spreads over several states, including; California, New
Mexico, and Utah. It covers an approximate 242,000 square miles and an additional stretch in
Mexico of 2,000 square miles. It is located in an arid area referred to as the “Cadillac Desert.” Its
headwaters are covered with snow, which melts during springs, which have been major factors of
the uncertainty of disasters such as drought and floods. Between May and July is the period
when the snow melts. Its major characteristic, according to academics, is the extreme levels of
precipitation and an arid climate. The Colorado basin has an extensive reservoir network,
including Lake Mead and Lake Powell, facilitated by evapotranspiration, which occurs naturally.
Higher levels of climate change in modern society have led to uncertainty inflows as the snow
may melt earlier than expected. Colorado River Basin is important as it is one of the major water
suppliers to some of the fastest-growing urban regions. An increased level of population growth
has also characterized these areas. 28 million people rely on the Colorado water supply, and the
figure has been on the rise (Bratrschovsky, 2012).
Since ancient times when the Indians lived there, the southwest area was characterized by
droughts and floods. It was a common pattern which compelled them to adapt and sustain
themselves with the limited water resource. However, climate change worsened as the regions
become drier, and society has inadequate measures to sustain their problem. When Europeans
arrived in the Southwest, all they could find was a culture that had disappeared together with the
ruins that had remained of the civilization. Due to its arid nature, the area was termed as
inhabitable by some. There were huge comparisons of the West’s climate and the humid east,
which had a more favorable climate. Therefore, agricultural activities in both areas defer due to
the problem of water management technology in the West. To make the availability of water
more adequate, it was established that extensive infrastructure in agriculture had to take place to
sustain the population growth. However, these strategies became a challenge to implement due to
inadequate resources in terms of finances and expertise.
Irrigation systems
The federal government was the only able body with adequate resources to undertake this
investment. It had to implement policies to ensure strategies to manage water are put in place.
Investments were undertaken in irrigation projects, massive dams that would be used to generate
hydroelectric power. The largest water user in the economy is the agricultural sector, whether the
society is industrialized. However, only 45 percent of the water is effectively used for the 55
percent is comprised of mismanagement of water application. Therefore, to improve crop
productions, there is an urgent need to improve how water is managed. Further research needs to
be undertaken to understand the different adaptations of crops in different climatic regions.
Certain factors should be considered: soil composition, the plant’s biology, and canopy energy
balances. To develop the southwest region’s economy, water management policies had to be
adhered to ensure water availability.
The growth of urban areas in the lower basin has facilitated the increase in demand for irrigation
purposes to sustain the population, for they were willing to pay for it. Breakthrough in
technology through extensive irrigation practices had the effect of mitigating risks that caused
uncertainty. The states that shared water rights consumed the water at considerable levels agreed
by all member states. However, California over-consumed its agreed levels, which led to a rise in
conflicts between other basin states. It was a rising problem for California as only effective water
management techniques to mitigate their overconsumption problem.
Such techniques included; Quantified Settlement Agreement (QSA), which advocated for the
large-scale transfer of water purposes from the agricultural sectors to municipalities. This
agreement was mainly applicable during drought seasons when water was scarce; hence, each
state’s amount of water was quantified dependent on the agreement to reduce inter-state conflicts.
It would also reduce competition between the major irrigation districts on water usage. However,
during rainy seasons when water was readily available, this policy was not adhered to as water
was available abundantly for every state to satisfy its water usage. The Quantity Settlement
Agreement serves to mitigate uncertainty levels in urban regions by ensuring certainty for all the
members. Since cities were willing to offer a price for water, its supply gets secured to serve
future purposes.
Dam infrastructure
A conflict existed between the upper and lower basin due to the dam as both parties had
differentiated reasons. The south was more focused on proposing the dam for regional
developments to supply adequate water to facilitate industrial and urban growth. The upper basin
was growing at a slower rate as their purpose was different; their main aim was to secure a
proportion of the Colorado River water against the water draining cities located in the north. A
policy had to be implemented to mitigate this conflict; however, no agreement was reached;
therefore, the basin was divided into the upper basin, responsible for producing water, and the
lower basin, which consumed water in California, Nevada. The major purpose was to ensure
equity in the allocation and distribution of water to promote water’s more beneficial purposes.
Due to the frequency of drought and floods, dams were established to reduce uncertainty in the
water supply. The Hoover Dam and the All-American canal were built based on a legal policy to
monitor water management to facilitate the economy’s planning and ensure a constant water
flow. The flow of water in the lower basin is facilitated by Lake Mead’s existence, which
supplies water in the Hoover Dam. These ensured proper regulation of the water source at
specified periods mitigating the uncertainty levels. In the Upper Basin, two dams were
constructed, Glen Canyon Dam and Flaming Gorge Dam, which aimed to fulfill the upper basin
requirements. They were created in 1956 based on implementing the legal policy referred to as
the Colorado River Storage Project Act. Glen Canyon Dam belongs at the Grand Canyon
entrance, while Hoover Dam is situated at the exit, has facilitated the coordination of Lake
Powell and Lake Mead. To efficiently manage waters in rapidly growing regions, investments,
and extensive water infrastructure maintenance through reservoirs and dams have to be
undertaken to regulate its supply efficiently. There are also other smaller dams in both regions,
including; Davis, Parker, Navajo, and Gorge dams. The dams were further subdivided to
facilitate water supply in geographically distant regions, especially in cities and urban areas.
The efficiency of water management: Flexibility
Effective management of these water strategies has enables the “Cadillac desert” to flourish as
more urban development has been increased in the region. It has experienced high population
growth over the last century in the arid lands as agriculture is now performed on a large scale. It
has been able to sustain the southwest economy, which was characterized by aridity and
uncertainty in water flows, mitigated by improvements in water infrastructure and appropriate
water management mechanisms. The states in which the Colorado River sustains have increased
flexibility in allocating water resources to combat disequilibrium in the demand and supply of
water in the regions. For early settlers in the Southwest, their major challenge was to regulate
and tame the Colorado River’s flows, which became only possible in the twentieth century.
Governing policies
Since the Colorado River stretched into Mexico, certain policies had to be implemented to secure
their interests. The US-Mexico treaty was formed in 1944, which addressed both states’ interests
by dividing the water rights proportionally. In 1948 the Upper Basin created the Upper Colorado
River Basin Compact, which served to distribute the water between upper Basin states depending
on the respective percentages. States such as Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado were
involved in the pact to safeguard their interests even in drought events. This situation was
different compared to the lower basin, which failed to unite to a common agreement as its water
rights amounts was governed by the Boulder Canyon Project Act (BCPA)
The BCPA was the legal policy implemented that governed the creation of All-American Canal
included Hoover Dam. The Colorado River has facilitated major cities’ growth in arid lands such
as Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. This massive regional growth has been facilitated by
extensive water systems and efficient management practices, which has reduced the inadequacy
of water and increased sustainability. The policies put in place are meant to increase water
supply through instituting projects while adhering to measures that reduce water demand.
Scarcity of water is majorly characterized in the Lower Basin due to the high levels of regional
development. It is also characterized by climate changes in the arid region, precipitation levels,
and the unpredictable water supply patterns to cater to future generations, which has further
worsened the situation.
The disequilibrium between demand and supply is natural and has been catalyzed by droughts’
frequency over prolonged periods. The Colorado River Basin is crucial to the Southwest’s
sustainability as the societies surrounding it highly depend on its resources, at approximately
thirty million people. The water resource is used for municipal and industrial functions to
facilitate the rapid advancement in lifestyle and population. An increased evaporation level is
catalyzed by hydroelectric power stations connected to the reservoirs, which puts additional
constraints on water management.
Collaboration in water management
To facilitate the Colorado River management, the Lower Basin Water Banking Program was
implemented to improve its efficiency and flexibility by providing incentives, water use, and
water savings efficiency. One of the incentives is to make water readily available during times
required, thereby reducing its scarcity. It mitigates the risk of inadequate water supply in the
short run; therefore, water banking is effective. However, its functionality depends on the
reliability between the upper and lower basins. One region is tasked with holding adequate water
levels for future utilization by the other basin, which derives benefits. The other incentive relies
on the party tasked with holding the water levels, for they are in charge of efficiently handling
water management to reduce uncertainties present in water availability.
Wadi Hanifa Wetlands
Wadi Hanifa Wetlands is situated in the Najd plateau in the Tuwaig Mountains and is an iconic
landmark in the region as it passes through Arriyadh. The region has implemented water
management policies to sustain the Al-Aysan channel situated in the north and its south
counterpart called Al-Hair. The interaction of flows between the two regions led to the formation
of a river in the desert. Wastewater that has been treated is directed back to Wadi to ensure there
is no water wastage. The region adheres to the importance of recycling water through treatment
measures. Through these mechanisms, the region has been able to regulate the region’s flood
levels while improving surface and underground water quality (Alhamid & Matin, 2000).
The diagram below represents Wadi Hanifa Wetland geographical l
Environmental pollution
The source of water in water was highly dependent on rainfall, which occurred on a seasonal
basis. However, over the last decades, the region has been characterized by massive urban
growth and settlements, which harmed the population. Since Wadi Hanifa Wetlands source is
located near the city of Al-Uyaynah, there have been high levels of sewage pollution and
drainage through agricultural practices. The high demand for water for consumption to facilitate
sustainability shares a complementary relationship with water disposal, leading to increased
groundwater levels. To mitigate this problem, a policy regarding dewatering programs had to be
implemented to regulate water flow from the source located in the south region. Therefore, the
water management mechanism depended highly on the Wadi Hanifa Wetlands as it was
previously used as a source of water. The current society has been tasked as a disposing
mechanism of wastewater from the city, rising due to increased consumption and demand for
water. However, relevant authorities have long-term plans to ensure a higher quality of water
supply through recycling.
These plans are put into consideration based on dry and wet weather conditions. The area is arid,
and therefore floods occur seasonally dependent on the occurrence of rainfall. Since high urban
development levels characterize the city, Wadi has become multipurpose to try and satisfy
society’s different needs. Building activities depend on it, such as; brick and cement making,
which has facilitated its activities. Others have opted to use the region as a dumpsite for their
products, which has led to increased water pollution. The purpose of Wadi Hanifa Wetlands
differentiates from the Colorado River basin in that its purpose has been converted from
development in the agricultural sector to development for regional and residential development.
The regional growth has also been characterized in areas also affected by floods, thus
endangering people and property lives.
Water drainage
The city has given Wadi the task to act as a natural drain mechanism of groundwater, which has
ensured a continuous flow in the Southern regions resulting from effective water treatment
policies. However, the quantity of water depends on seasonal rainfall, which has been a major
factor in the formation of swamps in the regions and increased groundwater levels. The
groundwater is highly polluted as the municipal sewage system does not regulate it. There is also
the presence of a vast service network that ran below the groundwater levels, which leads to
increased difficulty in the maintenance of the wetland and hazardous issues. The flow of the
groundwater is comprised of a variety of sources, some of which are unauthorized. The
unauthorized flows are the major cause of increased water pollution as they do not adhere to
environmental regulations. During the dry season, the water used in managing roads and
basements is also pumped into the Wadi. However, during the rainy seasons, the Wadi performs
its main function of draining excess water from the urban areas, which may cause flooding in the
Water quality
In the Wadi Hanifa Wetlands, there are a lot of current and potential sources of pollution. There
is a risk of pollution by pesticides and fertilizers used in agricultural sectors, byproducts of
irrigation, leakages from sewer pipelines, and unauthorized connections in nearby areas. It led to
the region’s characterization as polluted, which has accelerated the water’s diminishing quality.
According to tests done on the water contamination levels, it was determined unsafe for drinking,
for it even fell below the average level of bathing water. It is because it contained human waste
remains and nitrates.
However, as the water passes along Wadi, there has been a positive change in water management
mechanisms to improve water quality. The floors of Wadi, however, are composed of minerals
that have the ability to naturally clean and filter water. The Wadi’s groundwater is of a higher
quality than its surface water, which experiences frequent contamination.
Effective policies
Wadi has to institute effective water management policies since flooding in the region is
inevitable. These flooding events occur periodically but have the catastrophic effect of damaging
property and polluting the environment. To mitigate the inevitable occurrence, proper
engineering structures are required by facilitating appropriate management to minimize damage
effectively. However, the Wadi’s silt gets to flow through the flood to agricultural areas, thus
increasing productivity. It acts as a natural fertilizer mechanism that is of biological importance
to the composition of the soil. The water management policies have the important task of
considering the lives of future generations. They have to be sustainable and effective in
delivering the maximum results through a balance in the current and future generations’ needs.
The rift occurs due to the increased growth of human population which has led to the increased
demand for Wadis’ limited resources. Therefore, a balance should exist between the two
generations to ensure sustainability. The following are some of the needs that the plan of water
management entails. It focuses on key improvement areas that ought to be adhered to, such as
flood management policies, facilitation of natural water treatment mechanisms, disrupt
unauthorized leakage connections, and increasing recycling water capacity.
The following are some instances where recycled water can be used:
Supply to consumers
The recycled water can be used for outdoor and indoor domestic purposes as it is free from
bacterial infections that may lead to health complications. It may be used to wash cars, clean
houses, flush toilets, etc. The non-potable water supply could facilitate developments in new
sectors such as residential households. It can be equipped with the supply of water to facilitate
the functions named above. This increased water supply can be used for irrigation purposes in
public and private sectors as there is no water wastage. As more water mains are established, the
downside of this application is the risk of increased leakages to the environment.
Using dams to recharge the shallow aquifer
In the Wadi system, there is the presence of several dams that serve to regulate floods in case of
an occurrence. They regulate by releasing and retaining water levels to measured periods to
facilitate the shallow aquifer’s recharging. Through this process, a chain of distribution networks
must be installed to direct the contaminated surface water to these dams to facilitate the water’s
natural treatment. However, this mechanism is contradictory in nature due to its water retention
purpose. In case of floods when these dams are almost full, trying to recharge the composition
would prove ineffective due to the reduced storage capacity of the volumes of water. It would
also have a huge expense in financial resources as the expenses incurred in constructing the
pumping network and maintenance of the treatment plant.
Both options increase sustainability as they reduce potable water demand by providing quality
water appropriate for domestic use. For the objectives’ achievements, a dam situated close to the
lake location where the Wadi Hanifa broadens. The dam should serve the purpose of impounding
to sustain the volume of water storage that can be reused for other purposes.
The growth of the city of Arriyadh depended majorly on the utilization of Wadi Hanifa
resources. It shows the critical role it plays in the supply of water in the region, and for the
purpose to be sustained, effective water management policies have to be adhered to. The paper
addressed issues affecting the region and appropriate management programs relating to them. It
will enable Wadi to mitigate the problems accruing to floods and the quality of water. If
management programs are adopted efficiently, the supply of recycled water will increase
society’s sustainability.
In Colorado River Basin, the paper analyzes the disequilibrium between the demand and supply
of water and the possible efficient methodologies to mitigate the problem. The mitigation
techniques require cooperation and the existence of flexibility in water management. However,
the increased climate changes, for the worse, have complicated collaboration between water right
holders since water supply has become more constraint.
Alhamid, A. A. and Matin, A. M.” Fluvial Stage-discharge Rating of Wadi Hanifa Main
Channel.” Journal of King Saud University, Engineering Sciences, 12, No. 1 (2000), 4563.
Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA). Draft Report on Water Resources Management Study.
Riyadh: ADA, 1990, 240 p.
Bratrschovsky, K. (2012). Water Management in the Colorado River Basin Dealing with
Scarcity and Uncertainty.

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