Institutions for integrated water-resources management in river basins: A synthesis of IWMI research

Institutions for integrated water-resources management in river basins: A synthesis of IWMI research
By:"Kurian, Mathew"
Published on 2004 by IWMI

In recent years Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has gained widespread support in policy circles. Integrated management poses the challenges of coordinating the use of both natural systems (characterized by multiple land uses) and social systems (characterized by competing end uses of natural resources). Viewed in the context of geohydrological boundaries shaped by river basins, IWRM can place enormous demands on institutions to synchronize the use of natural and social systems to produce optimum results in the form of lower levels of resource conflicts, reduced deforestation and soil erosion in catchment areas and improved livelihoods of the rural populations. Research by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on IWRM institutions carried out in a diversity of biophysical and socioeconomic settings around the world contributes towards understanding the complexities of naturalresource use in river basins. Water-accounting indicators allow us to visualize seasonal water balance in a river basin while appreciating the historical process of economic development that allows for a particular trajectory of institutional evolution. More recently, IWMI research has highlighted some equity concerns inherent in discussions surrounding Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM). In this context studies have highlighted the influence of poverty, market development and community organizations for enhanced provision of irrigation services.

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