Indicators of Environmental Sustainability in Water Resources Management - Abstract
The paper is aimed at the analysis of the environmental sustainability concept as well as features of the performance and progress indicators as an important tool of sustainable water resource management (WRM) in context of sustainability. The research methodology is based on the comparative analysis of the content of the relevant international policy and research information as well as national reports and statistical data (Ukraine case study), published by 2022. The concept of environmental sustainability (ES) is considered with special attention to the ES indicators in water sector. Analysis of the WRM practices demonstrates that there is no internationally accepted standard indicators’ framework applicable for any WRM system, and therefore appropriate sets of indicators are designed and introduced in WRM of different water systems in many countries. For these purposes different models and assumptions were successfully used (e.g., performance model, mission - goals - objectives hierarchy model, DPSIR model, natural, economic and social relationships model, and others). Social and economic indicators in most cases reflect context implicitly while environmental sustainability indicators are mainly indirect by nature. Detailed consideration of the WRM in Ukraine as a case study resulted in the conclusion that the country concentrates efforts on achieving the reasonable objectives (meeting demand for water of population, industries and other water users; protection of water sources, and water emergencies prevention / mitigation). At the same time, the national WRM policies and programs are still lacking explicit objectives to achieve sustainability and, consequently, relevant indicators. It is expected that raising stakeholders’ awareness, strengthening the capacity of managers, and application of the best available practices of elaboration of effective WRM indicators will increase a sustainability of the WRM system in Ukraine and other countries.