Values of Water Resource in Scotland
Table of Contents
1.0 Executive Summary2
2.0 Context and importance of the problem3
2.1 Economic use of water3
2.2 Social conflicts3
2.3 Environmental Impact4
3.0 Critique of policy options5
3.1 Water footprint method5
3.3 Commercial strategies6
4.0 Policy Recommendations6
4.1 Improve economic value of water use6
4.2 Enhance cooperation7
4.3 Validation method – WF method7
1.0 Executive Summary
The main purpose of this report is to give out the definition of “values” of water resources and the ways to account for it. In addition to the traditional value expressed solely in economic terms, the new concept pays more attention to the social and environmental benefits. According to the new value system, recommendations have been made to help government determine whether a policy is appropriate for the purpose to maintain and develop the value of Scotland’s water resources.
Scotland has always been considered as a hydro nation. Because of the landscape and climate condition in Scotland, there is a substantial amount of rainfall. However, according to some records mentioned by P. Wright(1995), variations occur locally ranging from 270% of the average in the high lands in the west, to just over 40% in the east and south-east of the country. The traditional concern about the value of water resource is to balance the supply and demand. Laws have been established to specify the rights to collect and use water resources.
With the concept of sustainable development becomes more and more popular today, maintaining and improving the value of water resources needs to be considered by government. New policy should be made to maintain resources for the next generation. In addition, instead of the nationwide view to make decision, cooperation with areas around and even far away from the land should be set up to sustain the water system and make healthier use of water resources.
In order to deal with these new problems, this report also identifies and discusses some strategies. The main purpose of these strategies is to focus on conflicts between generations and nations deriving from water resources to “Making Scotland a world leading hydro nation”.
2.0 Context and importance of the problem
2.1 Economic use of water
At the outset, the Water Framework Directive(WFD) states ” Water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treaded as such”. This statement shows the idea that water is an important resource which needs to be protected to sustain the health of earth. However, actually, water is indeed a kind of commercial product when it is conveyed to homes and farms for domestic use or irrigation. Whether the price of water is underestimated is an important issue to maintain the sustainable use of water. Nowadays, instead of the more previous view of water supply in 1990s (P. Wright, 1995), governments begin to question the total amount of water demand. Approaches like cost-effectiveness analysis to evaluate the demand of water resource and economic instrument like polluter pays principle (Dominic Moran, 2007) have been taken into action in Scotland and other countries in European Union. It means that not only economic benefit but also environmental cost has been added into the evaluation system.
Thus the method to build up economic instruments and better ways to use water resource to improve the marginal value of water resource are worth investigating. Especially in Scotland, the landscape is excellent for developing hydropower which is a worthy way to be focused on. 2.2 Social conflicts
Just as mentioned above, when formulating a new water plan, governments always find ways to increase water supplies and reduce demands in a nationwide range. Yet, seldom did government try to cooperate with...