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IWRM planning

The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) in 2002 called countries for development of national IWRM and water efficiency plans by the end of 2005. However, the CA countries have not been enough successful in this respect. In fact, it is not a simple task to develop IWRM plans that needs political willingness and qualified experts in this area.


Goals qualitative provisions on what is to be achieved and what problem is to be addressed. In case of IWRM plan or policy, the use of already adopted national and global goals could be a way to reach harmonization with larger scale initiatives on sustainable development and poverty reduction, like the efforts to achieve SDGs, national sustainable development plans, etc.

Tasks means identified to achieve the goals or key problems to overcome in the area of development or water resources in order to achieve the established goals.

Measures certain actions identified to fulfill the established tasks. They cover infrastructure development and changes in policy, institutional structure, and governance tools.

National IWRM plans: specifics, role, measures

In contrast to instructive and quite tough master plans, the process of IWRM planning proceeds from more flexible and dynamic approach to planning water development and management measures. Planning addresses the whole activity within a system of river basin, water catchment (or watershed), which includes farming, forestry, resource development and other land uses. The planning process becomes important for good water governance in terms of goals, the course for actions and planned measures.

National IWRM plans include all measures needed to create the efficient framework for policy actions, law, financial structures, effective institutions and governance tools. Such framework is to ensure effective regulation of water use, conservation and protection and to avoid disproportions between economic development and ecosystem protection.

Here, it is very important to set priorities and measures for integrated water resources management. Ecosystem protection and preservation is among such priorities. The dynamism of the planning process should be well understood as one of the weighty advantages of such an approach to organization of work is flexibility.

The planning process is to take into account both the development of the water sector itself and the development in other sectors and associated effects on water resources (e.g. water demand or water quality). Moreover, in this process, one should analyze consequences of water management decisions in other sectors (e.g. tourism or healthcare). It is important to analyze risks (climatic, economic, policy and other) and identify needed measures for reduction and management of the risks.

Author: Mirzaev N.N., SIC ICWC