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The Handbook on IWRM in Basins PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 07 April 2009

Climate change, floods, drought, pollution, wastage, destruction of biotopes: in many countries, the seriousness of the situation requires a quick implementation of comprehensive, integrated and consistent management of water resources, aquatic ecosystems and lands.

The experience gained in many countries in the world, which made the basin-based approach of these problems the basis of their national legislation on water or which try it out in pilot projects, as well as agreements on an increasingly frequent and successful transboundary cooperation, allow saying today that this Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) should be implemented on the relevant scale of the basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers, whether local, national or transboundary. The ministerial declaration of the World Water Forum, which has just taken place in Istanbul, goes in that direction and supports this approach.

But significant progress should still be made everywhere in the world: Then how to pass from theory to practice? How to implement that on the field?

To facilitate this process, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) combined their efforts to write a “Handbook on Integrated Water Resources Management in Basins”, which was presented at the World Water Forum of Istanbul.


The purpose of this book, which required nearly one year of work and involved more than a hundred of professionals, members of the two GWP and INBO networks, is to provide useful advice to improve governance of fresh water resources in the basins, using practical examples of projects already undertaken in various countries.

Its drafting was supervised by a Working Group, jointly chaired by Jean-François Donzier (INBO) and Martin Walshe (GWP) and made up of Hartmut Brühl (GWP Technical Committee), Oscar de Moraes Cordeiro Netto (Latin-American Network of Basin Organizations), Teodoro Estrela (Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations), Alan Hall (Special Adviser to GWP), Vadim Sokolov (regional Water Partnership for Central Asia and Caucasus) and Reginald Tekateka (African Network of Basin Organizations and GWP Southern Africa). It was coordinated by Aurélie Vitry for GWP and Daniel Valensuela for INBO. Close coordination was made with the work started by UNESCO on the same issue.

The handbook, the first of this kind on this topic, is addressing, as a priority, basin managers, water professionals and representatives of public authorities – governments and local authorities - who have to make decisions related to water management and who must protect aquatic ecosystems, while trying to limit conflicts between the various users. The handbook also concerns non-governmental stakeholders (NGOs, professional organizations, users’ associations, etc.) concerned by water uses or environmental protection and which are involved in activities in basins.

The advices provided in this document can be applied in basins, whatever the situation (developed or developing countries, wet or arid climate, national or transboundary river basins) or the method used for water governance.

The handbook is designed to be practical, with a regrouping by topic: thus, it successively analyzes the development of basin management systems, the roles and various kinds of basin organizations, the financing methods, the involvement and participation of the stakeholders, planning and long-term strategy, the basin action plans, the follow-up of evolutions, information systems and communication to professionals and the public.

All along the handbook, the analysis is based on practical examples (case studies) coming from all the regions of the world. Not less than 84 examples were selected to appear in the document, thus coming to increase the realism of the proposed recommendations.

The Handbook is published in French and English. It benefited from a financial support of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

The English and French electronic versions of the Handbook can be downloaded free of charge from the INBO and GWP websites:
http://www.riob.org/gwp/handbook/GWP-INBOHandbookForIWRMinBasins.pdf - (1,290 MB).

The printed version or CD-ROM can be requested free of charge, within the limit of the available stock, by E-mails to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it or This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 January 2010 )
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