The IWRM ToolBox is a free and open database with a library of background papers, policy briefs, technical briefs and perspective papers, as well as huge sections of case studies and references – all aimed at people with an interest in improving the way water resources are managed.
The ToolBox was first launched in 2000, coinciding with the 2nd World Water Forum in The Hague. At the time, it was GWP Patron, then HRH the Prince of Orange of the Netherlands - now the King of the Netherlands – who “pushed the button”.
Since then a lot has happened and a major revitalisation took place in 2008. That re-launch took place at the World Water Week in Stockholm – which is also the case this time.
The official launch of the new and improved IWRM ToolBox website takes place on stage in the exhibition hall on Monday 2 September at 16.10-16.30. On site to handle the launch will be Dr. Danka Thalmeinerova, Senior Knowledge Management Officer at GWP. She is also the person in charge of the IWRM ToolBox.
“This is the 3.0 version”, says Thalmeinerova. She describes the re-launch as part of a periodic maintenance work of the website.
“Every website needs regular updates and this is the main reason behind the new design – we wanted to create a more user friendly site. Although the IWRM ToolBox is preliminary used to gather knowledge, which traditionally comes in writing, we now also want to give it supplementary features such as videos and news in so-called “push areas”. We want it to be easy to navigate and to see what is new, not only within the GWP network but also in the broader environmental management community”.
A Growing Process
There are currently around 200 case studies uploaded on the website. These illustrate concrete examples of IWRM practice all over the world. Over the years, the IWRM ToolBox has grown and evolved, and it continues to do so.
“The content is gradually moving away from theoretical descriptions of the basic IWRM principles towards concrete implementation of good practices in water management. There are also new case studies that are developed by experts outside of water management. This is a good signal of integration being ‘digested’. It is still a challenge to document integration sectors in many parts of the world, and I believe that the IWRM ToolBox will help practitioners to step out of the water box”, says Thalmeinerova.
The IWRM ToolBox is maintained on a daily basis by experienced staff. Danka Thalmeinerova says that this gives credibility to the content of the site and guarantees that all the information and knowledge is safe to use as a primary source.
“Recently the Mekong River Commission developed a training manual for their staff which builds on the IWRM ToolBox structure and resources”, says Thalmeinerova.
Many universities have shown an interest in using the IWRM ToolBox in their education curricula and for tailored short courses for practitioners.
“A lot of focus will now be put on providing assistance to these universities. A section for Critical Challenges is now fully developed, bringing forth some the key development issues that require urgent attention,” says Thalmeinerova.
The IWRM ToolBox is also available in Spanish.