July 20, 2024

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GCRF Water Hub: Urban Water Governance Short Course

On January 23, 2024, a program titled ‘Research Insights and Charting Prioritized Actions for Urban Water Governance in Johor River Basin’ took place at Pulai Springs Resort. It was attended by around 34 representatives from various governmental agencies involved in urban water governance in the Johor River Basin. The program aimed to disseminate research findings, foster collaboration, develop actionable strategies, and provide evidence-based policy recommendations.

The day began with a welcoming speech from Professor Zainura Zainon Noor, the principal investigator for Workstream 5: Governance in Malaysia’s Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. Professor Zainura outlined the research progress and activities conducted under the workstream.

Dr. Mohsen Nagheeby, co-lead for Workstream 5 of the GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub from Newcastle University, delivered a presentation on ‘Transboundary Water Governance,’ emphasizing the significance of water in shaping geopolitical relationships.

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Dr. Mohsen Nagheeby, co-lead for Workstream 5 from Newcastle University, United Kingdom.

Following Dr. Nagheeby’s talk, Ms. Wan Asiah Nurjannah, a PhD student, presented on ‘Water Sensitive Planning,’ exploring the theory and its application in Malaysia’s planning system. A post-it note discussion followed, where participants were divided into groups focusing on urban design, protection of water resources, water demand and supply management, and water-related disasters. They discussed challenges and improvements in implementing water-sensitive planning strategies.

Next, Dr. Che Hafizan Che Hassan presented ‘MyRiBasin,’ a scoring mechanism using the index of river basins, with the Johor River Basin as a pilot project. The methodology, issue identification, and criteria within the MyRiBasin framework were discussed, offering insights for future applications.

The final session involved social network analysis and the presentation of recommended priority actions based on interviews conducted before the program. Participants, grouped by focus areas—Institutional and Regulatory Framework Enhancements, Collaboration and Integration, and Data Management, Innovation, and Infrastructure—ranked proposed recommendations based on importance and urgency using the Eisenhower matrix. They also identified the best entities to lead and execute each recommendation.

 

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Group Discussion
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Group Discussion

In summary, the one-day program served as a knowledge exchange platform, fostering collaboration, and laying the foundation for efforts to enhance urban water governance in the Johor River Basin.

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