Presented by Mark Giordano
Integrated Water Resources Management provides a set of reasoned principles that, if followed, would lead us to an improved water future. This promise plus the backing of important international organizations has allowed IWRM ideals to acquire a near monopoly on water management discourse. This is unfortunate because, while the potential benefits of IWRM are large, its implementation comes with its own set of economic, political and time costs, costs which are not always considered in IWRM policy advocacy. Failure to recognize these costs can sometimes result in outcomes counter to the goals of water sector reform. The ubiquity of IWRM in policy discussions means that lower cost and potentially more effective options are sometimes not considered. This presentation highlights these points by describing the sometimes neglected costs of IWRM implementation, particularly in developing country contexts and provides a set of case studies (in India, Central Asia and China) examining solutions to water problems whose methods run counter to IWRM.