Water is a key driver of economic and social development while it also has a basic function in maintaining the integrity of the natural environment. However water is only one of a number of vital natural resources and it is imperative that water issues are not considered in isolation.
Managers, whether in the government or private sectors, have to make difficult decisions on water allocation. More and more they have to apportion diminishing supplies between ever-increasing demands. Drivers such as demographic and climatic changes further increase the stress on water resources. The traditional fragmented approach is no longer viable and a more holistic approach to water management is essential.
This is the rationale for the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach that has now been accepted internationally as the way forward for efficient, equitable and sustainable development and management of the world's limited water resources and for coping with conflicting demands.