This is the first volume in a new series under the aegis of the South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATERs) and explains the IWRM.
This volume begins by tracking the emergence of IWRM as a central notion in water debates. It then discusses the European experience with IWRM in the context of the European Water Framework Directive—the most comprehensive attempt so far at an IWRM-based water governance and management system. Thereafter, the book turns to South Asia. Among other things, the contributors argue that:
- in South Asia, IWRM is a concept in search of a constituency, and not a concept that has emerged from regional or local practice;
- understanding and implementing IWRM requires interdisciplinary analysis and frameworks;
- IWRM is a ‘boundary’ concept—plastic enough to adapt to local needs and the constraints of several parties employing it, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites;
- there are issues and limits in transplanting the model of river basin organizations, a central thrust within the global IWRM discourse; and
— a focus on water alone may be misguided, and that IWRM should look intensely at land-water linkages.