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water resources management

Water resources management

The efficient (re)use and allocation of water sources so as to minimise conflict and maximise collective gains 

The source of all WASH services

Natural water resources underpin the entire sector's existence. WASH services are based on abstracting, treating and delivering natural water to users - and evacuate, treating and returning used water to the natural system.  In order for WASH services to be available to everyone, for good, these processes must be controlled, managed, monitored and enforced.  They must also be considered right from the beginning of any (new) WASH infrastructure development.  For this, a clear framework is needed that allows for coordination and control of the demands on water resources by many different groups of users.  Such frameworks operate by allocating and managing water abstraction to protect supply, and by protecting water quality from incidents of pollution.

Links to other building blocks:  On the one hand, this building block is conceptually very closely linked to many others - particularly monitoring, regulation, policy and legislation and infrastructure.  At the same time, in many cases, water resources are managed by a different set of people to those responsible for WASH, so co-ordination and communication between these groups is essential.