An Integrated Approach
The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Carlo Giupponi, Anthony J. Jakeman, Derek Karssenberg and Matt P. Hare
Chapter 1: Integrated Management of Water Resources: Concepts, Approaches and Challenges
Anthony J. Jakeman, Carlo Giupponi, Derek Karssenberg, Matt P. Hare, Anita Fassio and Rebecca A. Letcher 1.1 PURPOSE OF THE BOOK For more than a decade, sustainability has become a cogent paradigm for the management of natural resources. Fresh water is generally recognised as the most crucial resource, in part because, at the broadest level, it underpins basic ecosystem functions. But it is also distributed variably over the planet and because of scarcity, lack of financial resources or mismanagement it can fail to meet all competing uses and, as so often occurs in the developing world, it can therefore fail to meet essential human needs. The challenge for integrated water resource management is to mitigate the inequitable and inefficient distribution of water resources, reduce their vulnerability to excessive demands, and limit the impacts of both land and water-based activities on their quality. This is the context in which Integrated Water Resources Management (defined below) is gathering momentum, accelerated by strong legal and institutional pressures coming into force to guide our management of water for future generations. The necessary interdisciplinary science to assess and inform management of our water resources is, however, less developed. The purpose of this book is to articulate for researchers, practitioners and water resource managers the concepts and tools required for IWRM, to document how IWRM can be applied to achieve more sustainable socioeconomic and environmental outcomes and to outline some of the challenges ahead. 3 13/01/2006 12.15 - Sustainable Management of Water Resources – p. 4 -...
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