Breaking sectoral lines
Rigid functional divisions within governments as well as international development agencies work against the types of cross-cutting, holistic approaches to development planning and resource management that IWRM requires. Building capacity for integrated programming, when ministries are organized along sectoral lines and poverty reduction and environmental protection/management plans are drawn up separately, continues to be difficult.
IWRM is a process
IWRM should be viewed as a process rather a one-shot approach -one that is long-term and forward-moving but iterative rather than linear in nature. As a process of change which seeks to shift water development and management systems from their currently unsustainable forms, IWRM has no fixed beginnings or endings.
There is not one correct administrative model. The art of IWRM lies in selecting, adjusting and applying the right mix of these tools for a given situation. Agreeing on milestones and time-frames for completing the strategy is critical for success. Implementation may take place on a step-by-step basis, in terms of geographical scope and the sequence and timing of reforms. Scope, timing, and content of measures can be adjusted according to experience. This offers room for change, improvement and process adjustment, provided that the proper bases for sound decision making have been established. In developing a strategy and framework for change, it is important to recognize that the process of change is unlikely to be rapid.