Here are four more worthwhile papers examining IWRM - Integrated Water Resources Management. They appeared in a recent special issue of the International Journal of Water Resources Development (Volume 30, Issue 3). All present somewhat unusual aspects of IWRM.
1) A new paradigm for water? A comparative review of integrated, adaptive and ecosystem-based water management in the Anthropocene, Jess Schoeman, Catherine Allan and C. Max Finlayson, Institute for Land, Water and Society, School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Albury NSW, Australia
The failure of conventional approaches to achieve equitable and sustainable water management has prompted a new way of perceiving and acting with water. This is creating a ‘new water paradigm’ that emphasizes broader stakeholder involvement; integration of sectors, issues and disciplines; attention to the human dimensions of management; and wider recognition of the economic, ecological and cultural values of water. This article reviews three approaches arising within the new water paradigm: integrated water resources management; ecosystem-based approaches; and adaptive management. The article concludes that the strengths of each approach address different moral and ecological challenges. Combining these strengths, while minimizing tensions, may contribute to more effective water management in the Anthropocene.
2) Integrated water resources management: horizontal and vertical explorations and the ‘water in all policies’ approach, Olli Varis, Konrad Enckell and Marko Keskinen, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Water constitutes a sector that overlaps with many other sectors and within itself has an array of quite different interests, stakeholders with varying mind-sets and consequently notable governance challenges. Integrated water resources management (IWRM) is the recommended approach to tackle this situation. Integration – both vertical (within the sector) and horizontal (across different established sectors) – is seen as fundamental to balanced governance and policy making. IWRM has a long history, and rich experiences, both positive and negative, have been reported. This article summarizes some of this experience and concludes that both vertical and horizontal challenges are ample. To contextualize and systematize integration, a flow chart is presented for various tasks and phases of water governance, and the challenges of integration are embedded into that framework. Because water is not the only sector that overlaps with other sectors and has integration challenges, the health sector is considered to learn from its approaches. Particularly interesting is the ‘health in all policies’ approach. This is helpful in further developing IWRM, in particular with respect to horizontal integration, in which IWRM may particularly need development.
3) Can integrated water resource management be of value to business, specifically the oil and gas sector?, Ruth Romer, IPIECA, London, UK
Water is an important resource for both business and society; it is a cross-cutting issue and should be managed using an integrated approach. Many businesses, such as oil and gas, have global operations in multiple geographic and climatic contexts across a range of jurisdictions. This paper explores whether the conceptual framework of integrated water resource management (IWRM) is an applicable approach for business to manage water issues. There are currently limited documented experiences of the relationship between business and IWRM. This article summarizes key findings from research that was supported by King’s College London. Findings indicate that although IWRM is a high-level, holistic approach, the principles can be of value.
4) Evaluating IWRM implementation success: are water policies in Bangladesh enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change impacts?, Josselin J. Rouillard, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, UK; David Benson, Environment and Sustainability Institute and Department of Politics, University of Exeter, UK; Animesh K. Gain, Department of Economics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy
Optimizing the capacity to adapt to climate change impacts has become a critical challenge for human societies. This article therefore evaluates how integrated water resource management (IWRM) approaches help enhance adaptive capacity to climate change impacts on water resources. An evaluative framework is derived from key IWRM principles and their roles in modulating adaptive capacity. This framework is then used to evaluate IWRM implementation in Bangladesh. The analysis draws on policy documents, interviews and a survey of policy makers. Results suggest that policy principles and implementation in favour of IWRM can be a source of success but also of failure for adaptive capacity. Recommendations for amending the concept with the aim of increasing adaptive capacity are outlined.
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