Integrated Water Resource Management

July 14th, 2016

Integrated Water Resource Management (IMWR) has captured the imagination of researchers, professionals, governmental departments and research institutions since the beginning of the 20th Century. However, it was not until the last few decades that IWRM began dominating the discussion about the management and politics of water resources. Currently, IWRM holds an important place among academic publications, reports and initiatives of important international organisations, such as the Agenda 21 of PNUMA, the World Congress about Sustainable Development of the UN in 2002 and other global events and publications.

Despite the fact that there are over thirty definitions of IWRM which compete among themselves, the concept is generally promoted as an approach which enables the management of  water resources, in an efficient, equitable and sustainable way. More specifically, IWRM is considered as “a process that promotes in a coordinated way the development and management of water, land and related resources, with the objective of maximizing the economic and social wellbeing in a equitable manner without compromising the vital systems.” Recently, IWRM has been understood as a process that seeks water security, which can be conceived as the availability of sustainable and adequate quantities and qualities of water for society and resilient ecosystems, facing uncertain global changes. (López-Gunn et al., 2014).