Deprecated: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in /home/igdzworg/public_html/wp-content/themes/porto/inc/functions/general.php on line 178
Integrated water resources management - IGDzw

Integrated water resources management

Integrated water resources management

Freshwater resources have been constantly threatened by an increasing human population, pollution of rivers, climate change and changes in land-use practices (DeFries and Eshleman, 2004). The threat on freshwater resources resulted in the creation of a management approach that promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and other related resources to maximize the resultant economic and social benefit in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems (Global Water Partnership and International Network of Basin Organization, 2009). This is the definition of integrated water resources management (IWRM), a management approach that was developed to fight the increasing pollution and scarcity of freshwater resources. Since its inception as a management approach to water resources management, IWRM has moved to a more modernized concept of integrating use, demand, the environment and stakeholders in its management approach (Frone and Simona, 2011).

The efficient and effective management of freshwater resources is agreed to be reached at river basin or catchment level. This is because there is a need to manage and account for all the aspects of the hydrological cycle. Using a catchment-based approach, a balance is achieved between the inter-dependent roles of resource protection and resource utilisation (Ashton, 1996). This approach uses the topographically delineated area drained by a river and all its tributaries as the boundary for water resources management. It encourages collaboration amongst specialists in varying disciplines of management, giving a transdisciplinary approach to the analysis of a catchment (Wang et al., 2016). IWRM incorporates linkages between the biophysical and socio-economic environments because of its transdisciplinary approach to water resources management. This provides research that is holistic and relevant to practical world issues (Wang et al., 2016). Such linkages can be seen through upstream-downstream linkages and those linkages that exist among natural resources management sectors in a catchment or in a transboundary river basin (Nadeau and Rains, 2007; Nepal et al., 2014).

Environmental management studies and strategies are affected by many uncertainties that can influence policy implementation. IWRM as an approach recognizes the need to incorporate these uncertainties in decision-

making (Larson et al., 2015). IWRM has brought to the attention of decision-makers the importance of other natural resources in a watershed and not just the hydrology alone (Acheampong et al., 2016). This approach to environmental management balances human and environmental needs maintaining the ecosystem and biodiversity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *