Integrated Water Resources Management
Carrying out water projects without taking into account the impact of the project on the water management of the downstream neighbours, can thwart local development and be a source of frictions and conflicts. For this reason PROTOS strives to integrate the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in its programmes. IWRM aims at a sustainable approach to water. In this, we take into account the all-round functions of water (drinking water, water for agriculture, for industrial activities or activities according to traditional methods, water for nature and ecology) as well as the different types of water users and the impact of our work on the locality. Moreover we also have to pay attention to the conservation of the water for future generations.
Today the scientific world and practical specialists consider IWRM as the best way to realise a sustainable water policy. Thereby it is best to tackle the water management of an entire water basin at once. In this context, a water basin indicates a complete river, fluvial basin or groundwater table. It is however clear that such a scale exceeds the possibility of an organisation like PROTOS. Nevertheless, certain methodologies and policy principles of IWRM can be applied successfully to smaller water basins around rivers and water layers. For this reason we also appeal to the services of partners to assist us at IWRM.
IWRM presupposes a thorough analysis of the water management and a serious consultation and cooperation with the several interest groups involved in the local development within the concerned basin. A management committee composed of the several water users, local authorities and service organisations involved is responsible for the governing of the whole process. This working method guarantees that one gets knowledge of and can take into account the water situation in the different areas and the diverse interests of people and nature. The detailed proposals concerning the optimal use and sustainable management of the water are thus supported by a large part of the population. Opposite interests are reconciled as much as possible and conflict situations are prevented as much as possible.
Studies and reports
In Rwanda, Ecuador, Burundi, Mali and Haiti general studies concerning integrated water resources management were carried out. These examine the following topics: water needs for the different functions of water, availability of water, habits concerning water, amount of water and sanitation supplies, national policy and strategy concerning IWRM, the different actors’ roles, threats and opportunities.
Other specific studies concern:
- Benin: an inventory and typology of the different uses of water in Benin. (700 KB)
- Integrated Water Management in the River Basin Moustiques in Haiti (December 2006) (3 MB).
- Good water governance and population participation in developing countries as necessary answers to the world's urban water crisis