Sustainable Transformations of Water Supply Regimes. The Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in Central Northern Namibia.
Schriftenreihe IWAR , 224
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|Title:||Sustainable Transformations of Water Supply Regimes. The Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in Central Northern Namibia.|
In this thesis, an interdisciplinary modelling approach for water resources management and its application is presented that is able to deal with socio-technical systems that are characterised by a multiplicity of variables, interdependencies, and actors. The case study area is the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin, which is located in central northern Namibia. Approximately 850,000 people or 40 % of the Namibian population live in this area, which comprises only about 14 % of the country’s area. The region is characterised by high precipitation variability (50-990 mm per year), a very high evaporation rate, the lack of perennial rivers, and the salinity of the groundwater in large parts of the area. These issues are a challenge for the regional water supply. The water supply regime in central northern Namibia is a hybrid between a centralised large technical system and several decentralised or traditional water supply techniques (e. g. Oshanas, earth dams (Omatale), dug wells (Omuthima and Oshikweyo), rainwater harvesting). The large technical system is fed by the Namibian-Angolan border river Kunene and consists of an open canal and a pipeline scheme with a length of about 2,000 km. A growing water demand due to population growth, migration and urbanisation, as well as technical and organisational problems, illegal extractions, and vandalism will probably jeopardise the situation since the local water demand exceeds the natural resources. The main research question is how the observed socio-technical system can be transformed in a sustainable manner and which key factors enable or impede such systemic transformations. The study is based on theories and concepts of systems theory, cybernetics, technological transitions, as well as socio-technical systems. Several modelling techniques were used in order to answer the research question. The foundation of the model was formed by the Grounded Theory, which is a qualitative method of social empirical research. Interviews with relevant stakeholders provided a deeper insight into their problem perceptions and world views. After the identification of relevant system variables, their interrelations and roles within the system were analysed by using the Sensitivity Model. In doing so, it was possible to identify outstanding variables as well as processes and to reveal potential regulators, systemic hazards, and viability indicators. Furthermore, cause-effect chains and feedback loops were analysed, based on cybernetic approaches. These findings helped to identify regulation mechanisms for open and closed loop control. Finally, various water supply scenarios were simulated and then assessed and compared in terms of systemic risks and viability indicators. The analysis showed that the water supply technique of rainwater harvesting might be the most promising niche technology that is able to initiate sustainable transformation processes with desirable outcomes. Furthermore, the technique of floodwater harvesting might be used in order to stabilise the system in a post-transition phase and to strengthen its resilience. Finally, capacity development measures are suggested, due to their positive impacts on a large number of other system variables. In addition, major hazards and risks to the system mainly stem from precarious feedback loops that have undesirable consequences such as an uncontrollable build-up or collapse of processes and an undesirable resilience which impedes any kind of development or transformation. In terms of indicators for the viability of the system, technical problems with the large-scale water supply system are said to reduce the water supply security. Furthermore, traditional water supply techniques are said to foster livestock farming and to deteriorate the users’ health considerably. All in all, the interviewees’ most important contribution was highlighting the relevance of traditional and decentralised water supply techniques as well as the significant role they play as a complement to the pipeline scheme. The implications of all of these findings might serve to develop policies for sustainable transformations of socio-technical systems.
|Series Name:||Schriftenreihe IWAR|
|Place of Publication:||Darmstadt|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Cybernetics, Empirically Grounded Modelling, Grounded Theory, Integrated Water Resources Management, Namibia, Rainwater Harvesting, Socio-Technical System, Transition Theory, Water Supply|
|Classification DDC:||300 Sozialwissenschaften > 300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften > 600 Technik
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften > 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften > 650 Management
|Divisions:||13 Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering
13 Fachbereich Bau- und Umweltingenieurwissenschaften > Institute IWAR
|Date Deposited:||14 Jan 2014 10:02|
|Last Modified:||14 Jan 2014 10:02|
|Referees:||Urban, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm and Ostrowski, Prof. Dr. Manfred|
|Refereed:||8 November 2013|