Policy proposals for promoting the development of alternative water resources
Due to climate change, regional and temporal precipitations have become increasingly irregular, which brought adverse water management conditions such as regular drought and large flood damage. Furthermore, demands for relaxation of “water supply area protection” regulations are increasing while expectations for clean water are raised, which has intensified regional conflicts to secure clean water.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to build a new dam due to limitations of social acceptability, regional oppositions and more strict policies on building dam of the new government. Therefore, in order to effectively utilize the limited water resources in Korea, the development of alternative water resources is necessary.
The primary purpose of this policy recommendation is to activate the alternative water resources. Whereas previous studies have carried out research on the development of the alternative water resources on certain areas like the reuse of waste water or seawater desalination, this paper intends to integrate development measures in alternative water resources areas. But the purpose of this study is not simply to integrate development measures in each alternative water resources areas. Instead, the research is primarily focused on suggesting holistic ways to the development of the alternative water resources in long-term perspective that can sustainably overcome water shortages.
First I presented the status of seawater desalination, the problem of regulations and systems, and finally the policy recommendations for promoting of alternative water resources are as follows: 1) policy establishment and the policy direction dualization for each purpose. ; 2) for small facilities, strengthen support and push ahead continuously facility improvement projects, standardize and reduce operating costs. ; 3) for large factories, strengthen networks with global companies to lead overseas markets, establish partnerships with the government, industry and academia. ; 4) secure core technologies through active development of alternative water resources-related technologies, and an efficient operation management system ; 5) the optimal location for each characteristic of alternative water resources should be selected. For example push seawater desalination facilities around coastal areas where industrial parks are developed.
Second what can we learn from the case of Busan city? That is how important and difficult it is to have good governance among stakeholders. In the future, the alternative water resources business is expected to become more active, and it will not be possible to proceed without a good governance not only between regions but also within their own areas.
Third each alternative water resource sector, which has been handled by different departments in K-water, should be integrated into one department, and the field without a staff should create and manage a new team. The next chart shows an example of the integration of its functions into one department.
Finally in order to make a social consensus on promoting of alternative water resources, the exercise in public relations and education on water resources-related personnel should be taken into consideration.
It seems appropriate to limit the present study because there is a limit to expanding the study to the detailed plan of each alternative water resources, which goes beyond the scope of this study. Instead, the results could present a big picture about the overall development of alternative water resources.
I am sure alternative water resources are the only way to solve the water problem in Korea. I hope that the government will pay a lot of attention to alternative water resources and carry out the above proposals.
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