Accounting of all kinds of water users

From the point of view of cross-sectoral (horizontal) integration, water management organizations should fairly represent the interests of all water users in different economic sectors and provide a priority of water saving and eco-system preservation within the boundaries of each hydro-geographical unit. As mentioned above, the problem is that different departments manage the use of different kinds of waters. For example, surface water is managed by the Ministries and Departments of Water Resources, first of all, in the interests of irrigated farming, and, at the same time, by the Departments of Energy in the interests of power generation. Groundwater use is coordinated by Geological Ministries. Drinking water supply is under responsibility of public utilities or local authorities. While industrial water use is managed by relevant Ministries of Industry. At the same time, all the above-mentioned public departments and ministries, as a rule, do not co-ordinate their activity with each other.

The main basis for cross-sectoral integration is the co-ordination of sectoral interests in the process of joint use of available water resources according to agreed schedules, and use of wastewater derived in one sector by other sectors. At the same time, the mechanisms for conflict settlement should be developed to integrate contradicting interests. It may be achieved by involving the representatives from different sectors in public governance at any level of the water management hierarchy. The public bodies established on an equal footing should provide consensus based on mutually acceptable regulations. There are the following instruments for co-ordination:

  • overall planning and co-ordination of water resources use;
  • coordinating the economic growth of sectors;
  • information exchange; and;
  • contribution to material and financial inputs of mutual interest.

Relevant public conciliation bodies play a positive role in co-ordination, (the participation of representatives of such sectors as hydropower engineering, nature management, agriculture, and water supply in the Basin Water Councils, and correspondingly the participation of representatives of administrative districts and large water users in the Irrigation System Councils, as well as water users in the WUA boards). In many countries, the National Water Councils, consisting of leaders of all sectors interested in the use of water resources as well as key scientists and water professionals, were established under the direct guidance of Prime Ministers of these countries.

Source: V.A. Dukhovny, V.I. Sokolov, H. Manthrithilake, N. Mirzaev: Cross-sectoral Integration of Water Users (Horizontally) (2009)