Blue Papers <p>Blue Papers: a Journal for Empowering Water and Heritage for Sustainable Development <span style="font-size: 0.875rem;">edited by Carola Hein, Matteo D’Agostino, Carlien Donkor,</span> <span style="font-size: 0.875rem;">Queenie Lin &amp; Hilde Sennema.</span></p> en-US (Carola Hein) (Stichting OpenAccess) Mon, 20 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 OJS 60 Sustaining Our Future by Valuing Water and Culture <p>Leonardo da Vinci described water as “the driving force of all nature,” yet today, the world is facing a water crisis. If we reflect on the history of development interventions, we can see that people of various cultures have responded to similar hydrological situations by creating structures usingwhat they knew and what they had. Local solutions were efficient, and some continue to be efficient today, because people considered the limits imposed by climate and context, included members of their communities directly in water governance and passed on appropriate intangible social prac- tices down through the generations. And yet today, deforestation, unsustainable land use and poor disposal of industrial waste is polluting rivers and lakes, increasing gaps in access to safe water in many communities in Ghana and across Africa.</p> Angela Lusigi Copyright (c) 2023 Angela Lusigi Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Editorial Issue 1/2023: Water and Heritage in Action: Commitments for a Sustainable Future <p>Water awareness is inextricably linked to climate change awareness. In 1987, renowned climate scientist William W. Kellogg wrote an article about “the evolution of awareness” of humankind’s impact on the climate. He noted that over 150 years separated the first observations of this im- pact to the first explicit mention of the greenhouse effect in 1957 (Kellogg 1987). Over 35 years after Kellogg’s article, “awareness” is no longer the greatest challenge: it is “action.” The Water Conference of 1977 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, which aimed at establishing an international water resource management program, proposed an Action Plan to guarantee orderly administration of water resources as a key element for improving socio-economic conditions and quality of life for humankind (United Nations 1983). However, the plan did not result in widespread action and one reason was the broadness with which it was written. The 1977 Action Plan addressed countries generally, without considering specific climates, political structures, economic differences or so- cio-cultural contexts.</p> <p>Almost 50 years later and halfway into the Water Action Decade (2018–2028), progress on wa- ter-related goals and targets remains alarmingly off-track (United Nations 2023). The Water Action Agenda and the UN 2023 Water Conference promises a different approach and calls for commit-ments and actions. The president of the General Assembly remarked on the need for game chang- ers: methods, strategies, approaches and programs able to connect multiple disciplines, levels of governance and ways of thinking to enhance cooperation across actors, sectors and scales for sustainable development, beyond a “business as usual” approach (United Nations 2022).</p> Carola Hein, Matteo D'Agostino, Carlien Donkor, Queenie Lin, Hilde Sennema Copyright (c) 2023 Mon, 20 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Interview with Kunlé Adeyemi | African Water Cities: Embedding Local Knowledge for Sustainable Coexistence between Humanity and the Environment <p>This interview highlights the extensive research project African Water Cities by architectural studio NLÉ, which explores intersections of rapid urbanization and climate change in the African context. NLÉ proposes new strategies for addressing water, culture and heritage management in Africa as Sub-Saharan Africa experiences the second-fastest rates of urbanization and population growth in the world. The discussion also addresses whether and how these strategies fit within the scope of the UN SDGs.</p> Kunlé Adeyemi, Carlien Donkor, Matteo D'Agostino Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Museums for the Past and Future Meaning of Water <p>Two resolutions of UNESCO-IHP (2018 and 2021) have highlighted the importance of fostering water sustainability education through networked water museums and developing a world inventory (WIN) of these institutions. To achieve this goal, the Global Network of Water Museums has developed a methodology to initiate a worldwide census of water museums, interpretation centers and water- related heritage values. The benefits of adopting a common methodology are clear. By using a transnational toolkit it will be possible to highlight the large variety of valuable aquatic heritages and the paradigmatic models of human coexistence with water environments worldwide. All institutions involved in implementing the WIN at the regional and national level will be empowered to communicate and target the SDGs and provide inspiration through the use of holistic approaches and good practices inherited from our “watery past” to better plan future resilience.</p> Eriberto Eulisse Copyright (c) 2023 Eriberto Eulisse Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Thirsty Islands and Water Inequality: The Impact of Colonial Practices on Freshwater Challenges in the Dutch Caribbean <p>Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Territories in the Dutch Caribbean face unique water challenges related to climate change. With fragile ecosystems and surrounded by rising sea levels and limited natural resources, island communities are increasingly faced with the reality of life withextreme drought and floods. While Caribbean SIDS in general have limited freshwater resources and limited water-retaining capacity due to natural characteristics, it is undeniable that unsustainable actions, practices and attitudes under colonial rule, such as deforestation and “property-thinking,” have contributed to present-day environmental degradation, freshwater resource management problems and water inequality. In the Netherlands, there are ongoing discussions about reparative justice compensation for the impact of Dutch colonial imperialism. In this light, it is worth considering whether reparative justice for the former colonial territories could take the form of eco- and heritage- system reparations and substantial investments in nature- and heritage-based solutions.</p> Suzanne Loen Copyright (c) 2023 Suzanne Loen Thu, 30 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200 Looking Back Paves our Way Forward: The Delta City of Amsterdam <p>As one of the most famous delta cities in the world, Amsterdam exemplifies how decisions and narratives from the past can be the driving force for present-day actions and more effective design principles for future city planning. Water management in Amsterdam has often been, and frequently still is, reactive in response to water hazards, flooding, droughts, pollution and disease. While contemporary pressures urge water managers to redesign the living environment in harmony with changing water cycles, the centuries-long history of water awareness, cumulative knowledge and long-term spatial planning has led to gradual improvement throughout Amsterdam. Many solutions are still relevant today and are essential in decision making as we design a new climate-resilient future and deal with challenges such as sea-level rise and demographic change. Despite residing below sea level, the people of the delta city of Amsterdam exhibit a profound sense of confidence and security against flooding. Moreover, the material and immaterial dimensions of the water network serve as a tangible reminder of our ancestors’ deltaic identity, highlighting their contributions to our current living environment. Therefore, the water system plays a vital role in preserving Amsterdam’s urban landscapes, cultural heritage and historical significance, which also helps strengthen this delta city’s future water management and urban planning.</p> Sannah Peters, Maarten Reinier Lemme Ouboter, Jeroen Oomkens Copyright (c) 2023 Sannah Peters, Maarten Ouboter & Jeroen Oomkens Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200 Water Cooperation and Ideology in Local Communities <p>This article addresses how ideology affects local water governance, focusing on a groundwater basin in central Iran. It offers a case study of a symbiotic relationship between upstream and downstream communities, allowing a sustainable form of water governance. The cooler weather, better pastures and greater amount of precipitation of the basin upstream drew nomadic communities, whose economy was not dependent on irrigation. Downstream, fertile soil and warm weather favored agriculture with a high demand for water that was supplied by the groundwater transferred from the basin upstream. The exchange of livestock products and agricultural goods between the basin’s upstream and downstream areas systematically tied their economic systems. However, Iran’s 1979 revolution brought a hybrid leftist-Islamist ideology that unbalanced this traditional relationship through the reorganization of geographical space. The upstream communities were encouraged to cultivate their pastures, which led to a boom in the number of irrigation wells. The downstream villages were persuaded to adopt a new cropping pattern that turned most of their water-efficient vineyards into apricot orchards with high water demands. Therefore, an abrupt increase in water demand in the basin upstream and downstream thwarted the cooperation between the two areas and drove the basin into “the tragedy of the unmanaged commons.”</p> Majid Labbaf Khaneiki, Abdullah Saif Al-Ghafri Copyright (c) 2023 Majid Labbaf Khaneiki, Abdullah Saif Al-Ghafri Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200 Revitalizing Istanbul’s Water Heritage: The Valens Aqueduct <p>The ancient Valens Aqueduct in the metropolis of Istanbul, Türkiye, has the potential to raise public awareness of historical water management as well as of current and future water supply challenges. This monument stands as a highly visible remnant of what was once the longest water supply line of the Roman world. Although recognized and preserved as a heritage object testifying to its multi- layered history, it has lost its original function and its relationship to water management. We present a program that aims to develop solutions for revitalizing its tangible and intangible values as a prime example of water supply, management and culture through the ages. In this way, this heritage object can regain a connection with water, and water can become an engine for sustainable development.</p> Mariëtte Verhoeven, Fokke Gerritsen, Özgün Özçakır Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 The Erie Canalway: Stewardship and Multivalent Significance of Historic Waterways <div class="page" title="Page 2"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Once North America’s longest constructed transportation system, the Erie Canalway has been in continuous operation for nearly 200 years (ASCE 2022; Goodstadt et al. 2020). The Canalway transformed New York City into the nation’s chief port and helped New York State (NYS) become a commercial, industrial and financial center (Library of Congress, n.d.; Hay 2014). Beyond moving people and goods, the Canalway carried ideas, innovations and social movements; it connected Europe, the US Eastern seaboard and the US interior; it has been credited with facilitating settlementefforts, advancing democracy and strengthening national identity (Goodstadt et al. 2020; Hay 2014). The system of the Erie Canalway is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the NY State and National Registers of Historic Places; it is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and is part of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The Canalway contributes to SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure) through its resilience over two centuries and its repurposing from transportation infrastructure to a historic, cultural and recreational corridor. Its innovation captures the paradigm shift of water engineering for transport to water management in terms of ecology and culture. The Canalway also illustrates some of the challenges associated with SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation), especially in regard to water-related ecosystems.</p> </div> </div> </div> Andrew Bernard, Christopher Fullerton, Meisha Hunter, Tonja Koob Marking, Priyanka Sheth Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Rebuilding Port Infrastructure Heritage in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia <p>Transforming port infrastructure to meet the increasing demands of urbanization and modernization has been a contentious topic for decades, with push and pull between preserving historic structures and addressing sustainability, economic feasibility and tourism (Babalis 2018). This article takes an interdisciplinary view of these debates by exploring how restoring port infrastructure heritage can align key pillars of sustainable development: a strong local economy, water and sanitation, and social and cultural identity. An ongoing restoration project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, serves as a case study of integrative approaches and strategic objectives implemented by project developers and government stakeholders. The project addresses the challenge of rebuilding sustainable and resilient port infrastructure while still preserving heritage and making room for modern urban developments. The approach presented potentially creates new arenas for water and heritage management in spaces that have experienced rapid urban change and commercial exploitation in ways that have affected historic port infrastructure and human well-being.</p> Danna Albanyan Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 The UN SDGs as Compass for Sustainable Water and Heritage Management <p>Working toward sustainable development requires careful balancing of the past, present and future. Water is a crucial element of the SDGs, because each intervention in the water system will have either a positive or negative impact on other parts of the system and on other goals. Water connects: literally and figuratively. Working toward sustainable water (and) heritage management is urgent and can greatly contribute to other important goals. In designing a solution for the future, it is necessary to consider not only technical, but also behavioral and cultural perspectives in a comprehensive approach. This article explains the urgency and importance of working through the lens of the SDGs as an encompassing framework.</p> Sandra Pellegrom Copyright (c) 2023 Sandra Pellegrom Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200 Toward a Research and Action Agenda on Water and Heritage? A First Attempt at Refining Terminologies, Concepts and Priorities <p>Over the last several years, a variety of academic and professional partners have started to explore the relationship between water and heritage. A key challenge for communication and collaborative action in this important and growing field is a lack of shared terminologies, concepts and priorities. As water managers around the world look for inspiration from the past, heritage professionals focus on the protection of water-related sites and practices, historians explore continuities and spatial planners anticipate future needs. As a result, the future-oriented field of water management, the preservation-focused interests of heritage, and the analytical or design-oriented fields struggle to intersect, as do professional practice and academic analysis. A closer investigation of the respective interests and thematic foci of each group involved in the water and heritage field is much needed. Such an investigation needs to start with a clarification of goals, terms and concepts of both water and heritage in order to clarify different research agendas and to facilitate collective action.</p> Carola Hein Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Capacity Development and Cultural Heritage: Toward a New “Culture of Water” <p>In 2020 UN Water, the entity coordinating the United Nations’ work on water and sanitation, identified capacity development as one of the five accelerators required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6). In today’s practical application, capacity development is mostly financed to deliver a product specified in advance, not to arrange a longer time frame and process to structurally learn from various activities and discover sustainable development paths (Alaerts and Zevenbergen 2022). The inclusion of traditional knowledge and cultural heritage in our joint-learning efforts will help us enlarge capacity for a more sustainable culture of water.</p> Eddy Moors Copyright (c) 2023 Eddy Moors Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200 Museums for the Past and Future Meaning of Water <p>In recent decades, a technologically driven water management paradigm has fostered a model of “domination over nature” with an unsustainable footprint. This paradigm has also alienated people and communities from their environment and from historical practices and forms of knowledge that involve managing and engaging with water directly. There is a need for a paradigm shift in managing water in a way that reconnects individuals to aquatic environments and water-related heritage and reflects the extraordinary transformation in our understanding of the need for biological diversity to sustain human life. The Global Network of Water Museums aims to stimulate a change of mindset toward long-term visions of water governance and heritage by reshaping contemporary thinking through education. With more than 80 members in 33 countries, this growing network promotes a better understanding of water history to build a “new culture of water” and inspire people to adopt more forward-looking uses of modern technology applied to water governance.</p> Eriberto Eulisse Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Engaging with Water and Rivers from a Multispecies Justice Perspective <p>Rivers are ecosystems indispensable for the survival of both humans and non-human species. Yet humans often disregard their importance and modify the existing socio-natural equilibrium of rivers in the pursuit of economic and political agendas. With a focus on new water justice movements, this article advocates a perspective that recognizes rivers as hydrosocial territories, actively and continuously co-created, co-inhabited, and transformed by a multiplicity of human and other-thanhuman beings. Such a perspective opens a path to a multispecies justice framework that involves rethinking the relations between human and non-human beings in the worlds we share as a medium for creating more socio-ecologically just and biodiverse water worlds.</p> Carlota Houart Copyright (c) 2023 Carlota Houart Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200 River Culture: Living with the River, Loving the River, Taking Care of the River <div class="page" title="Page 2"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>An unbelievably small portion of the water available on planet Earth, just 0.00015 per cent of it, runs in rivers (Garcia-Moreno et al. 2014). And yet, this is the most important water source, not only for humans, but also for animals, plants and entire ecosystems on all continents. The natural flow regime of rivers, including periods of floods and low flows, has set the pace for cultural activities and biological evolution since the earliest days. But, in assuming that water is a resource that can be exploited without limits, humanity and global life support systems are running into an existential crisis, recently worsened by climate change. This article presents the book publication River Culture – Life as a Dance to the Rhythm of the Waters, which bears the name of a scientific concept that offers a way out of this crisis. Its innovative approach combines adaptive strategies developed by non-human biota with cultural practices resulting from human-nature interactions. The goal is to develop sustainable management options for river catchments (Wantzen 2022, 2023).</p> </div> </div> </div> Karl M. Wantzen Copyright (c) 2023 Karl M. Wantzen Mon, 20 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Water and Culture Policies: An Illustrative Case of Updated Collaborative Transformation Policies <p>Water and culture have been closely linked to human beings since ancient times. These connections were often lost in the process of industrialization. New water culture policies and initiatives reflect new attempts at collaborative transformation. They provide a way to transcend the current crisis- management discourse and related narrow policy answers offered by policy makers in Europe. The EU foresight scenarios describe potential future developments. They can serve as a starting point for cross-sectoral cooperation and policy making that can help solve the current and upcoming challenges and make it possible to take advantage of opportunities. Collaborative ecosystems need to be brought forward by policy makers and leaders as well as staff in culture and water organizations. This can change the dominant practice of policy making, which is sectored in silos and often can’t provide sustainable solutions. A set of interlinked initiatives provide a basis for integrated policy making and multi-stakeholder collaboration that can bring about positive change.</p> Sylvia Amann Copyright (c) 2023 Wed, 01 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Threats to Underwater Cultural Heritage from Existing and Future Human Activities <p>Our ocean heritage (natural and cultural) is at risk from destructive human activities, including bottom trawling, deep seabed mining (DSM), and potentially polluting wrecks (PPWs). The stories of our societies and our ancestors are often connected with the ocean and captured on the seafloor as artifacts, shipwrecks and the remains of those lost or buried at sea. Previously, marine global heritage protection efforts have been largely focused on natural heritage. However, Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) is also ocean heritage and must be considered the same way. We must shine a light on UCH as heritage and insist that it be part of Marine Spatial Planning with integrated ocean and coastal management. Approaches include, but are not limited to, (1) Conducting baseline surveys to identify heritage that should be conserved and preserved for present and future generations; (2) Environmental assessments taking into account the impact of human activities on both natural and cultural heritage; (3) Measures to identify, avoid or minimize the adverse impacts; and (4) The application of a precautionary approach to trawling, DSM and salvage of PPWs, calling for a moratorium on these activities unless and until steps 1 – 3 have been accomplished, permits/other management controls are in place and significant natural and cultural sites have been designated as protected areas.</p> Charlotte Jarvis, Maria Pena Ermida, Ole Varmer Copyright (c) 2023 Charlotte Jarvis, Maria Pena Ermida, Ole Varmer Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200 Intersection of Heritage, Water, and the Work of the ICOMOS Sustainable Development Goals Working Group <p>The Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG) of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) advocates for heritage by publishing reports, attending conferences and engaging in networking. The SDGWG is particularly interested in how water, heritage and sustainable development intersect. Various aspects of this intersection are demonstrated by three case studies of underwater cultural heritage: a study of submarine cables and pipelines, the traditional floating garden system of chinampas in Mexico City, and the indigenous water tanks of kulams and gender-associated stepwells in India. This paper examines the current state of protection and advocacy, while also discussing the challenges faced by water heritage. While significant challenges remain, the SDGWG is developing solutions to ongoing and sometimes overlooked problems.</p> Gabriel Caballero, Bretony Colvile, Elena Perez-Alvaro, Saranya Dharshini Copyright (c) 2023 Gabriel Caballero, Bretony Colvile, Elena Perez-Alvaro, Saranya Dharshini Thu, 30 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0200