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Pragmatic but principled : background report on integrated water resource management

Integrated water resource management (IWRM) is about integrated and „joined-up‟ management. It is about promoting integration across sectors, applications, groups in society and time, based upon an agreed set of principles. IWRM has been widely applied and aims for more coordinated use of land and water and is divided into full (wholly integrated activities) and light (applying the principles at the local level). The main criticisms of IWRM are the failure to translate the theory into action and the lack of change on the ground. There is a need for both light and full IWRM, but future projects need to increase participation and engagement. Supplying domestic water and sanitation impacts other water users at abstractions (water demands can be can be very significant during the dry season and there is increasing competition for resources) and discharges (wastewater); an integrated approach can help remediate conflicts. IWRM has been neglected in urban areas, yet cites are a dominate feature within catchments and have complicated water environments and a large number of stakeholders. IWRM has been advocated in low income countries to address the millennium development goal, resulting in changes in law and policy; however, the changes have been superficial and had little real impact. For WSUP the process of IWRM is generally not very useful, but the principles are. [authors abstract]

TitlePragmatic but principled : background report on integrated water resource management
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHeath, T.
Pagination17 p. : 3 boxes; 2 fig.; 1 tab.
Date Published2010-10-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, WSUP
Place PublishedLondon, UK
Keywordsconsumer demand, demand responsive approaches, low-income communities, stakeholders, water demand, water resources management
Abstract

Integrated water resource management (IWRM) is about integrated and „joined-up‟ management. It is about promoting integration across sectors, applications, groups in society and time, based upon an agreed set of principles. IWRM has been widely applied and aims for more coordinated use of land and water and is divided into full (wholly integrated activities) and light (applying the principles at the local level). The main criticisms of IWRM are the failure to translate the theory into action and the lack of change on the ground. There is a need for both light and full IWRM, but future projects need to increase participation and engagement. Supplying domestic water and sanitation impacts other water users at abstractions (water demands can be can be very significant during the dry season and there is increasing competition for resources) and discharges (wastewater); an integrated approach can help remediate conflicts. IWRM has been neglected in urban areas, yet cites are a dominate feature within catchments and have complicated water environments and a large number of stakeholders. IWRM has been advocated in low income countries to address the millennium development goal, resulting in changes in law and policy; however, the changes have been superficial and had little real impact. For WSUP the process of IWRM is generally not very useful, but the principles are. [authors abstract]

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