Designing Local Frameworks for Integrated Water Resources Management

  1. C-09
  2. FS
  3. FR①
  4. FR②
  5. FR③
  6. FR④
  7. FR⑤


PL Photo Project Leader



Professor Kubota earned a doctorate in forest hydrology from Kyoto University (1987). He has served as assistant professor at Kyoto University (1987-1989), and assistant professor (1989-1996) and associate professor (1997-2002) at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. He joined RIHN in 2002, and now directs the Center for Research Development and the RIHN-China initiative. His major research fields are hydrology, water issues in arid regions, and human adaptation to societal and environmental changes.

Co-Project Leader



Dorotea Rampisela earned a doctorate in forest hydrology from Kyoto University (1992). She was previously senior lecturer at Hasanuddin University (1982-2013). She joined RIHN in Jan 2014. Her major research fields are hydrology, focusing on watershed management and relocation of people related to dam construction. She established an NGO and for the last ten years has conducted participatory research with water users association for irrigation water management.

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Project Researchers at RIHN
KOTERA Akihiko Senior Project Researcher
SEKINO Nobuyuki Project Researcher
KATO Hisaaki Project Research Associate
KOYAMA Masami Project Research Associate
Main Project Members
AKÇA, Erhan Adiyaman University, Turkey
AKIYAMA Michio The University of Shiga Prefecture
BERBEROĞLU, Suha Çukurova University, Turkey
ÇULLU, Mehmet A. Harran University, Turkey
HAMASAKI Hironori Nagasaki University
KAGAMI Haruya Kanazawa University
MIZUTANI Masakazu Utsunomiya University
NAKAGAMI Ken'ichi Ritsumeikan University
NAGANO Takanori Kobe University
NAITO Masanori Doshisha University
SETIAWAN, I. Budi Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
TAKAMIYA Izumi Kinki University
NAKAMURA Kimihito Graduate School of Kyoto University
TAKARA Kaoru Kyoto University
TAMURA Ulara Japan Society for Promotion of Science (Kyoto University)

Backgrounds and objectives

The concept of Integrated Water Resources Management(IWRM) was first proposed in the 1990s in order to recognize and coordinate the many stakeholders and sectors involved in effective water resources management. Despite several decades of evelopment, there are still difficulties implementing IWRM in local communities and in effectively assessing the influence of human activities on water resources. While IWRM has focused on integrating the sectors and organizations governing water resources, it has not typically been able to incorporate demands from local water users or taken account of their cultural or historical backgrounds. This has resulted in a lack of flexibility from the supply side. As a consequence, new frameworks or guidelines have been requested in the field of local-to-regional water resources management.

The objective of this project is to propose knowledge structures and functions of water resources management to local-level stakeholders who play the essential role in adapting IWRM into society. The research therefore involves considerable exchange between the scientific evidence of water cycles in particular places and the wide range of stakeholders involved in water management and use. The project’s goals are to develop cooperation between science and society in order to stimulate the co-creation of desirable local water resource management.

Research areas and methods

Figure 1 Progress of the project at a glance.

Figure 1 Progress of the project at a glance.

In order to accomplish the goals of the project, we have established several study sites in Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt and Japan. Cases in Indonesia and Turkey give us a geographical and hydrological contrast between humid and semiarid to arid regions experiencing increasing demand of water resources associated with rapid economic growth. The Japanese case presents interesting contrast as it shows steady or decreasing demand for water resources. Project researchers have surveyed the management structures reflecting the relationship between water users in each area and observed important background hydrological and socio-economic dynamics.

Project research puts special emphasis on the sites in Indonesia and Turkey as they present a simple hydrological contrast between humid and arid regions, while their historical and cultural differences offer comparative examples of water management structures We have been developing a GIS system to analyze land-use change indicated by satellite observations in relation to other important conditions such as areas affected by flooding and drought. We held stakeholder meetings and conducted action research in field study areas in order to promote mutual understanding of how different actors perceive water-related problems and seek new ways of establishing proper water resources management. Both the hydrological model and GIS system are utilized as information-sharing tools in stakeholder workshops.

Progress to date

Figure 2 The results of stakeholders meetings in Indonesia

Figure 2 The results of stakeholders meetings in Indonesia

In Indonesia, field surveys in Subak, Bali have indicated a recent organizational transition as public policies have shifted water management from autonomous to cooperative unions. Furthremore, we confirmed recent changes in the societal functions and roles of Subak related to globalization and mass tourisum. A stakeholder meeting was held in Bali in 2013. Most of the participants reported problems that have recently arisen between Subak members and outsiders, such as water pollution caused by illegal waste dumping and illegal constructions on irrigation canals. Because the Subak population is made up of farmers, it is difficult to handle these problems and participants realized the necessity of communication beyond the normal scale of Subak governance. In the second meeting in 2014, we decided to establish a new “Forum DAS”(river committee) to address these problems. Two preparatory meetings were held in December 2014 and February 2015 including Subak representatives, officials and engineers in local governments, scientists, and NGO workers. In South Sulawesi, a lack of communication among water managers was clearly identified in the stakeholders meeting in January 2014, in which almost a hundred of leaders of farmers, water managers, and governmental supervisors participated. After this meeting, we have supported further autonomous discussion among water managers by utilizing the traditional “apalili” meeting. Through these meetings, a detailed schedule of water allocation was established and shared with water managers and farmers, improving the performance of water allocation and, consequently, rice production in 2014. We are planning to have another series of action-meetings in collaboration with stakeholders, expanding to other irrigation districts in 2015.

In Turkey, we have identified similar problems in water management, such as information disparities and unclear responsibilities in spite of privatization. At the same time, surveys on river flow status, drainage water quality, and land use have revealed that excessive use of irrigation water and chemical fertilizer was responsible for degradation of watershed environment and land productivity. Two stakeholder meetings were held in March 2014 in order to enhance communication and mutual understanding among stakeholders. After the meeting, a local water users’ association (WUA) consulted us on how to avoid over-irrigation and a resulting decrease in production. We proposed a night irrigation system. The WUA conducted a pilot project with governmental financing and the support of an NGO, which was very successful in that it reduced water used for irrigation while improving production by 30%. This pilot study was reported in the second stakeholders’ meeting in October 2014 and we expect that more WUAs will employ the night irrigation system. These meetings, in addition to providing important opportunities for stakeholders to jointly address key problems in local water management, also allow project researchers to analyze changes in stakeholder behavior and decision-making processes as we further develop the methodologies of transdisciplinary investigation.