The role and use of information in transboundary water management

University dissertation from Stockholm : Mark och vatten

Abstract: Management of water bodies according to their river basinsis becoming increasingly common, as the concept of IntegratedWater Resources Management (IWRM) is getting more and moreacknowl-edged. In Europe, a large portion of these?new?management units will probably be internationalor transboundary. Decisions and policies consideringtransboundary water issues need to be based on reliable andcomprehendible information. In this thesis, a review of variousexisting models that may be used for understanding the role anduse of information in (transboundary) water management ispresented. Further, the thesis reports on an assessment of theinformation management of three transboundary water regimes inEurope, namely the international water commissions for LakeNeusiedl, Lake Constance and Elbe River. Besides examining theinformation management of the regimes as such, the managementwas also related to information needs implied by the IWRMcon-cept and by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Thereviewed models and approaches were grouped into threecategories: information management models, information cyclemodels and communication between actors. The first categorycomprised models that may be used for managing and assessingdifferent types of information. The second group dealt withmodels explaining the production and communication ofinformation predominately from an information producer/senderperspective. The third group focused on ideas concerninginteractions and communication of information between differentkinds of actors. The studies on information management intransboundary water regimes showed that the information needsand strategies often were defined primarily with watercommissions?own needs in mind. The data collected by thecommissions were predominated by monitoring data, describingthe status of the environment and the impact caused by humanactivities. Furthermore, any communication of information toother groups of actors was mainly done through passivechannels. The information management in these transboundarywater regimes was not fully in accordance with informationneeds implied by the IWRM concept and the EU WFD.Keywords:Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM);transboundary water management; information; EU Water FrameworkDirective (WFD); regimes; policy and decision making; LakeNeusiedl; Lake Constance; Elbe River.