Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process that promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources to improve economic and social well-being in a fair manner, without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment.
IWRM is increasingly applied worldwide for the policies and management of water resources. It helps to protect the environment and fragile ecosystems and to promote economic growth and sustainable agricultural development. It also improves human health and promotes democratic participation in governance.
The basis of IWRM is that the use and different applications of scarce water resources are interdependent. High demands on irrigation mean less fresh water for ecosystems. Polluted and industrial wastewater pollutes rivers and threatens ecosystems; if water has to be left in a river system to protect fisheries and ecosystems, less can be diverted to grow crops. There are many more examples of how water use is interdependent. Especially in the Sahel, where water is a scarce and variable resource, vital to humans and animals, this is felt by all sectors and users. Wasting water is no option. A sustainable distribution and a proper access to water resources in the Sahel is of high priority.
IWRM is increasingly emerging as an accepted alternative to the sector-by-sector approach often used in the past. It reduces the risk of unsustainable resource use in the long term. IWRM is based on the understanding that water resources are an integral part of the ecosystem, a natural resource and a social and economic good.
Important source: https://www.gwp.org/