What is IWRM?
The world´s freshwater resources ...

are under increasing pressure from population growth, economic activities and intensifying competition for available water resources among users. Water withdrawals have increased more than twice as fast as population growth, and currently one third of the world's population lives in countries that experience medium to high water stress. The problem of water scarcity is often aggravated by pollution. Deteriorating water quality influences water usability downstream, threatens human health and the functioning of aquatic ecosystems.


The above problems ...

are intensified by shortcomings in water management. Sectoral approaches to water resource management have dominated in the past and are still prevailing to date. This leads to fragmented and uncoordinated development and management of the resource. Current concerns about climate variability and climate change demand improved water resource management to cope with more intense floods and droughts. Thus, the overall problem is caused both by inefficient governance and increased competition for a finite resource.


Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) ...

is "a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems" (Global Water Partnership 2000). Key features of an IWRM include the following dimensions: i) river basin wide consideration, ii) water as social and economic good, iii) equitable allocation of water resources, iv) integrated water resources and environmental management, v) science-based system approach, vi) central/ local government cooperation, vii) best available technology not entailing excessive costs, viii) model forecasting and policy facilitation, ix) stakeholder participation, x) sustainable financing mechanisms for investment.



The IWRM concept and its realization in the MoMo project