IWRM Planning (GWP)

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In contrast to prescriptive and rather rigid master plans, an IWRM-oriented planning process takes a more flexible and dynamic approach to planning the development and management of water resources. Planning reflects the total activity in the system, whether defined as river basin, catchment or watershed, including for example agriculture, forestry, mining and other land uses. The planning process acquires a special role in strengthening good governance within a strategic water management framework of goals, policies and planned actions to achieve the goals. It is very important to recognise the dynamic nature of the planning process because a significant value of the concept lies in its flexibility. The plans should be continuously monitored and adjusted in order to take account of recent development trends. Only a flexible and non-prescriptive approach will allow for such changes.

Often, the geographic limit of water management plans is the river or lake basin (see Basin management plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=29 ), but it is also important to recognise cross-basin effects as well as the impact on other environmental media. Further, the relationship between rivers and coastal waters (see Coastal zone management plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=31) and ground and surface water (see Groundwater management plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=30) should be considered for any IWRM Plan. Good plans further include environmental, social and economic assessments (see: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=33, http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=34 and http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=35 respectively.

The planning process must take into account not only development options within the water sector itself but also scenarios for development and relations between other sectors that may have an impact on the water resources. Likewise, the consequences of water management decisions in other economic sectors should be an integral part of the analyses made during the planning process. It is important that the planning process includes analysis of risks, and addresses the necessary and adequate measures to reduce or manage risks (See Risk assessment and management: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=32). Plans should also take into account potential hazard and the vulnerability of people and ecosystems to extreme events, and should be linked to indicators or

The responsibility for the planning process itself inevitably rests with the authorities, be they national agencies, regional authorities, or river basin organisations. It is important that the responsible authorities design a planning process that allows for involvement and contribution from all affected parties, including the private sector, community groups and disadvantaged stakeholders (See National IWRM plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=28 and separate article "National IWRM Planning" on this site).


GWP ToolBox: http://www.gwptoolbox.org

Plans for IWRM: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&cat_id=10

National IWRM Plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=28

Basin management plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=29

Coastal zone management plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=31

Groundwater management plans: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=30

Environmental assessment: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=33

Social Assessment: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=34

Economic assesment: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=35

Risk assessment and management: http://www.gwptoolbox.org/index.php?option=com_tool&id=32

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