Water law as an adaptation strategy for global water scarcity in the future

Monday, 15 December 2014
Kaoru Kakinuma1, Sayaka Yoshikawa1, Takahiro Endo2 and Shinjiro Kanae1, (1)Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, (2)Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Japan
Water scarcity due to climate changes and growing human population is a major concern for the world. Adaptation and mitigation strategies should be developed for water scarcity in the future. Previous studies assessed the future water availability by hard technology (e.g., reservoirs, reclaimed and desalinated water plants) as adaptation strategies. On the other hand, soft path such as water law and policy would also be important for adaptation strategies. Water transfers is reallocation of water among water users. For example, distribution of the amount of available water is often heterogeneous especially during drought periods. If water transfers are permitted in these areas, water can be moved from surplus areas/sections to critical need areas/sections. There are several studies which describe the water transfer at the local scales (i.e., water bank in California), however the factors that determined the establishment of water transfer are not clear. If we can detect the factors, it could be used to estimate in which areas the water transfer would come into existence. This in turn would reduce the water stress.

Here, we focus on historical interaction between human activity and water environments. Generally, rules of water use are developed by repeated discussion among water users. The frequency of these discussions would be related with their land use, frequency of drought and water resource sizes. For example, people in rice crop area need to discuss about water allocation compared to wheat crop area. Therefore, we examine the relationship between the permission of water transfer and factors such as water environment and human activity in the world.