Integrated water resource management (IWRM) approaches seek sustainable solutions to water resources by balancing social and economic needs (i.e. equitable, efficient, and cost-effective) with protection of the environment.
A diverse group of stakeholders focus their skills and knowledge to set policy and make decisions in response to specific water challenges. By nature of this plurality, IWRM is flexible, integrating solutions from different sectors. Such flexibility is necessary to help devise plans to safeguard water supplies during climate change.
IWRM is based on the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development also known as the ‘Dublin Principles’, which include the following points.
- Freshwater is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development, and the environment.
- Water should be managed in a participatory manner, involving all concerned stakeholders.
- Women play a central part in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water.
- Water has an economic value and should be recognized as an economic good; it should be both affordable and equitably distributed.
WSSCC does not have a strong focus on IWRM, but it is affiliated with networks that do.