Presenter/Author Information

J. Myšiak
Carlo Giupponi

Keywords

integrated water resources management, decision framework, participatory modelling, scientific policy aid, policy analysis

Start Date

1-7-2006 12:00 AM

Description

Water is a finite, renewable, yet in certain circumstances depletable, natural resource with essential value for life. The uneven distribution of water resources, amplified by numerous conflicting water uses, constrains economic development and the wellbeing of humans. The excessive quantity of water as a result of land use and/or climate change (and thus at least partly accountable to human activities) poses additional threats. To ensure an efficient allocation and protection of water, a holistic (integrated/comprehensive) management based on the principles of the ecosystem approach was endorsed by a broad scientific and policy community. Such management was aimed at promoting pro-active, non-structural and demand-side interventions favouring a more cautious exploitation of resources, but the implementation of the concept may turn into a continuous frustration. Meanwhile, some authors consider IWRM an elusive (and fuzzy), amorphously-defined and evolving political process. In this paper we review the issues behind the lack of its successful implementation. We argue that the IWRM stands for policy-making which relies more than ever on interdisciplinary, pluralistic, inclusive approaches, with scientists participating alongside other stakeholders in deliberative decision-making, participatory assessment, or group model building. In the paper, we present a framework of water governance which facilitates the involvement of different actors in the formalisation of integrated environmental models and assists participatory planning and decision-making about water resources.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Towards better water governance: putting Integrated Water Resource Management in place

Water is a finite, renewable, yet in certain circumstances depletable, natural resource with essential value for life. The uneven distribution of water resources, amplified by numerous conflicting water uses, constrains economic development and the wellbeing of humans. The excessive quantity of water as a result of land use and/or climate change (and thus at least partly accountable to human activities) poses additional threats. To ensure an efficient allocation and protection of water, a holistic (integrated/comprehensive) management based on the principles of the ecosystem approach was endorsed by a broad scientific and policy community. Such management was aimed at promoting pro-active, non-structural and demand-side interventions favouring a more cautious exploitation of resources, but the implementation of the concept may turn into a continuous frustration. Meanwhile, some authors consider IWRM an elusive (and fuzzy), amorphously-defined and evolving political process. In this paper we review the issues behind the lack of its successful implementation. We argue that the IWRM stands for policy-making which relies more than ever on interdisciplinary, pluralistic, inclusive approaches, with scientists participating alongside other stakeholders in deliberative decision-making, participatory assessment, or group model building. In the paper, we present a framework of water governance which facilitates the involvement of different actors in the formalisation of integrated environmental models and assists participatory planning and decision-making about water resources.