V Outlook and Options for Action

Lessons Learnt, Open Research Questions and Recommendations

Christine Bismuth, Bernd Hansjürgens, Timothy Moss, Sebastian Hoechstetter, Klement Tockner, Valerie Yorke, Hermann Kreutzmann, Petra Dobner, Shavkat Kenjabaev, Reinhard F. Hüttl, Oliver Bens, Rolf Emmermann, Hans-Georg Frede, Gerhard Glatzel, Hermann H. Hahn, Bernd Hillemeier, Hans-Joachim Kümpel, Axel Meyer, Helmar Schubert, Herbert Sukopp, and Ugur Yaramanci

Abstract This chapter represents the summary of the common analysis within the Interdisciplinary Research Group Society – Water – Technology. Lessons learnt, research gaps and recommendations are presented as the outcome of the analysis of the two case studies Fergana Valley and Lower Jordan Basin and as a conclusion from the cross-analysis based on the evaluation framework and the considerations outlined in Chap. 3 (Bismuth et al., Research in two cases studies: (1) Irrigation and land use in the Fergana Valley and (2) Water management in the Lower Jordan Valley. In: Huettl RF, Bens O, Bismuth C, Hoechstetter S (eds) Society water technology: a critical appraisal of major water engineering projects. Springer, Dordrecht, 2015, in this volume).

Keywords Recommendations • Lessons learnt • Research gaps • Major water engineering projects • Complex and coupled systems • Options for action

Introduction

The chapters of this book have given an insight into various aspects of major water engineering projects (MWEPs) and the influence of water technologies on societies and natural resources. The key question asked was to which extent MWEPs may support the efficient and sustainable management of water and land resources. Directly linked to this overarching question are reflections on the extent to which such projects generate serious environmental, economic, and social changes, on how MWEPs contribute to the creation of path dependencies and on how such dependencies can be resolved (Moss and Dobner 2015, in this volume). The political component of MWEPs, particularly considerations of the problems related to transboundary water management, has been another important focus.

We have tried to address these questions from two general perspectives: The main aim for the Fergana Valley was to analyse the current and future impacts of the decisions made in the past. For the Lower Jordan Basin and the Red Sea–Dead Sea (RSDS) Conveyance Project, the main goal was to assess future options for action and to determine the conditions for their implementation.

The results from the two case studies do neither allow to draw general conclusions about the complexity of MWEPs nor to simply transfer the results obtained from these two regions to MWEPs globally. Nevertheless, we were able to put the two case studies into a broader context by a comprehensive literature search and to put emphasis on the general political, social and ecological processes associated with such projects. It allowed to identify transferable results and to formulate principal lessons learned from the analysis of these case studies.

For the cross-analysis of the case studies, we also refer to the evaluation framework and the considerations outlined in Chap. 3 (Bismuth et al. 2015a, in this volume). Comparing the two case studies enabled to draw general conclusions and recommendations from four different points of view: (1) from the perspective of international and transboundary water management, (2) from the perspective of the observed planning processes, (3) from institutional and governance-based viewpoints, and finally (4) from the perspective of “coupled socioecological systems”.

Before we present this overarching analysis, we want to highlight and summarise the most important findings from both the Fergana Valley and the Lower Jordan Basin.

 
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