Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
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Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has been defined by the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership as “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.” Operationally, IWRM approaches involve applying knowledge from various disciplines as well as the insights from diverse stakeholders to devise and implement efficient, equitable and sustainable solutions to water and development problems. As such, IWRM is a comprehensive, participatory planning and implementation tool for managing and developing water resources in a way that balances social and economic needs, and that ensures the protection of ecosystems for future generations. Water’s many different uses—for agriculture, for healthy ecosystems, for people and livelihoods—demands coordinated action. An IWRM approach is an open, flexible process, bringing together decision-makers across the various sectors that impact water resources, and bringing all stakeholders to the table to set policy and make sound, balanced decisions in response to specific water challenges faced. It has been agreed to consider water as an 'economic commodity' in order to emphasize on its scarcity in the Dublin Principles. One of the major fields of focus has been to increase women's involvement in drinking water and sanitation projects, especially in the developing countries. International Water Management Institute(IWMI), UNESCO and International Water and Sanitation Centre are some of the institutes that have undertaken research in this area.
Integrated water resources management (IWRM) is included in river basin management, ICZM and spatial planning.