Integrated Water Resources Management: A Practical Solution to Address Complexity by Employing the Nexus Approach

Schreier, Hans and Kurian, Mathew (2014). Integrated Water Resources Management: A Practical Solution to Address Complexity by Employing the Nexus Approach. Working Paper. United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES).

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  • Sub-type Working paper
    Author Schreier, Hans
    Kurian, Mathew
    Editor Monts, Trey
    Title Integrated Water Resources Management: A Practical Solution to Address Complexity by Employing the Nexus Approach
    Series Title Working Paper
    Volume/Issue No. 2
    Publication Date 2014
    Place of Publication Dresden, Germany
    Publisher United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)
    Pages 20
    Language en
    Abstract

    "Integrated Watershed Resource Management (IWRM), while a popular concept, is difficult to implement successfully. Many authors have expressed concern that few IWRM projects have resulted in improvement in the way we manage water and few have solved the emerging water quantity and quality problems. The two main criticisms are: 1. Restructuring the many government agencies responsible for water and making them work in an integrated or collaborative manner is an unrealistic proposition, and 2. The issues are too complex to be solved in an integrated manner, because there is a disconnect between the land, water, governance, social and environmental factors and human behaviour. Moreover, these activities are mostly unpredictable. Few of the critical authors offer a viable alternative, because neither the traditional top-down sectoral approach nor the integrated multi-stakeholder approach has been successful in solving all the water problems. It is proposed that the IWRM be practiced within watersheds, because it is the only sensible way to address the complex land, water, human and environmental issues. However, a nexus approach is required that makes linkages between the top-down and bottom-up approach and that includes selective stakeholders to develop and implement IWRM plans. It is argued that the multi-stakeholder process needs to be streamlined to a more problem solving session with fewer and selective participants. This will speed up the process and allow more resources to be assigned to management actions. This also requires a commitment by the researchers and managers to monitoring the effectiveness of the implemented management over time. It is also advocated that the IWRM approach can only be successfully implemented at the microand meso-scale and not at the river basin scale. Finally, another objective of this paper is to shed light on the issue of scale and its role in influencing the effect of spatial and temporal factors on environmental and social outcomes of integrated management of water resources. Can one conclude for instance that IWRM approaches can only be successfully implemented at the micro- and meso-scale and not at the river basin scale?"

    Copyright Holder United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)
    Copyright Year 2014
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISBN 9783944863122
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    Created: Fri, 12 Dec 2014, 11:45:55 JST