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Customising Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) at The River Basin Level

A river basin approach in the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is being recognized as a method for managing water resources more sustainability. Instead of the traditional fragmented approach to managing water, which is no longer viable, IWRM provides a more holistic approach for ensuring water security. A basin-level perspective enables integration on quantity and quality, surface water and groundwater, and land use and water resources in a practical manner. The implementation of IWRM in the humid tropics will likely differ in some ways from other regions because of the unique challenges of the tropics. For a collective learning across the region, there is a pressing need to take stock of recent experiences and identify good practices that promote sustainable water policies.

The publication presents selected experiences of IWRM implementation at the river basin level in Davao City in the Philippines, Medan City in Indonesia, as well as in countries such as Nigeria, Turkey and Sudan. The varying conditions in these countries require a customised approach whereby significant local knowledge and practices are used in the implementation of IWRM philosophy and principles. These case studies demonstrate that each country and river basin must chart its own vision and plan based on its unique situation, but this must be informed by sound scientific and socio-economic analysis. This lessons of customisation are further explored by highlighting the Malaysia efforts in mainstreaming the principles of IWRM.

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