Press release


The Handbook on Integrated Water Resources Management in Basins

Climate change, floods, drought, pollution, wastage, destruction of  biotopes: in many countries, the seriousness of the situation requires a  quick implementation of comprehensive, integrated and consistent  management of water resources, aquatic ecosystems and lands.

The experience gained in many countries in the world, which made the  basin-based approach of these problems the basis of their national  legislation on water or which try it out in pilot projects, as well as  agreements on an increasingly frequent and successful transboundary  cooperation, allow saying today that this Integrated Water Resources  Management (IWRM) should be implemented on the relevant scale of the  basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers, whether local, national or transboundary. The ministerial declaration of the World Water Forum,  which has just taken place in Istanbul, goes in that direction and  supports this approach. 
But significant progress should still be made everywhere in the world:  Then how to pass from theory to practice? How to implement that on the  field?

 To facilitate this process, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and  the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) combined their  efforts to write a "_Handbook on Integrated Water Resources Management  in Basins_", which was presented at the World Water Forum of Istanbul.
The purpose of this book,  which required nearly one year of work and  involved more than a hundred of professionals, members of the two GWP  and INBO networks, is to provide useful advice to improve governance of  fresh water resources in the basins, using practical examples of
projects already undertaken in various countries.

Its drafting was supervised by a Working Group, jointly chaired by  Jean-François Donzier (INBO) and Martin Walshe (GWP) and made up of  Hartmut Brühl (GWP Technical Committee), Oscar de Moraes Cordeiro Netto  (Latin-American Network of Basin Organizations), Teodoro Estrela  (Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations), Alan Hall (Special  Adviser to GWP), Vadim Sokolov (regional Water Partnership for Central  Asia and Caucasus) and Reginald Tekateka (African Network of Basin  Organizations and GWP Southern Africa). It was coordinated by Aurélie Vitry for GWP and Daniel Valensuela for INBO. Close coordination was  made with the work started by UNESCO on the same issue.

The handbook, the first of this kind on this topic, is addressing, as a  priority, basin managers, water professionals and representatives of  public authorities - governments and local authorities - who have to  make decisions related to water management and who must protect aquatic  ecosystems, while trying to limit conflicts between the various users.  The handbook also concerns non-governmental stakeholders (NGOs,  professional organizations, users' associations, etc.) concerned by  water uses or environmental protection and which are involved in  activities in basins.

The advices provided in this document can be applied in basins, whatever  the situation (developed or developing countries, wet or arid climate,  national or transboundary river basins) or the method used for water  governance.
The handbook is designed to be practical,  with a regrouping by topic:  thus, it successively analyzes the development of basin management  systems, the roles and various kinds of basin organizations, the  financing methods, the involvement and participation of the  stakeholders, planning and long-term strategy, the basin action plans,  the follow-up of evolutions, information systems and communication to  professionals and the public.

All along the handbook, the analysis is based on practical examples  (case studies) coming from all the regions of the world. Not less than  _84 examples were selected _to appear in the document, thus coming to  increase the realism of the proposed recommendations.
The Handbook is published in French and English. It benefited from a  financial support of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
The English and French electronic versions of the Handbook can be  downloaded free of charge from the INBO and GWP websites:

 The printed version or CD-ROM can be requested free of charge, within  the limit of the available stock, by E-mails to or

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) is an international network which  aims at water safety in the world. GWP mission is to contribute to  sustainable development and management of water resources at all levels.  The GWP was created in 1996 to promote integrated water resources
management and to ensure coordinated development and management of  water, lands and related resources, by maximizing the economic and  social welfare which results from it, without compromising the  sustainability of vital ecosystems.
The  International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), created in  1994, supports the implementation of integrated water resources  management in the basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers. It connects  basin organizations and other public agencies responsible for basin management, with the aim of promoting experience sharing and of  developing effective tools for better water management at the  transboundary, national and local levels.


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