Global Water Partnership aims for a water secure world. Water is central to the world’s development challenges and whether it is food security, nutrition security, poverty reduction, economic growth, energy production or human health - water is the crucial link. Without water security, there will be no food security, energy security will be compromised and poverty reduction and economic growth will not be sustainable. Water security is therefore a pre-condition of any effective poverty reduction strategy, and of effective environmental sanitation, wastewater management and flood control.
The tool - IWRM
More and more countries recognize the value of improving water management for development. Conventional water governance and management paradigms are however imposing unsustainably high economic, social and ecological costs on human societies and the natural environment. Therefore, if effective, long-lasting solutions to water problems are to be found, an alternative to conventional paradigms is needed. Such an alternative paradigm is encapsulated in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
IWRM is “a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital eco-systems”.
Being a process rather than a one-shot approach, IWRM is long-term and forward-moving. It is also a public good, and few now see it as a narrow, technical, single-purpose perspective. It is well understood that managing water resources in an integrated way is everybody's business and that a range of actors from different sectors of society and with different economic interests must be involved.