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Published on: 15/05/2012


A new study covering 40 African countries shows that they are making good progress with integrated approaches to water resources management.

Over 75 per cent of the member countries of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) are implementing national water laws and nearly half (44 per cent) are executing national plans for integrated water resources management in line with the Africa Water Vision for 2025 according to a new study [1]. The study is based on global survey co-ordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on behalf of UN-Water, which will be released at Rio+20. [2]

The report found that 18 of the 40 countries polled have integrated water resource management (IWRM) plans under implementation. A similar study conducted in 2008 found that 5 countries, out of the 16 that responded to the survey, had IWRM plans or were in the process of developing them.

While several countries reported that improved water resources management has direct social and economic benefits, the report asserts that better documentation and indicators could increase government commitment and financing for water.

Improved coordination, institutional capacity and financing are needed to ensure food and energy security, as well as access to safe drinking water and sanitation to a growing population. The report warns that climate change will increase flooding, droughts and pollution, which are the greatest physical threats to Africa’s water resources.

[1] McMullen, C. (ed.), 2012. 2012 Status report on the application of integrated approaches to water resources management in Africa. Abuja: African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW). viii, 88 p. : 20 boxes, 53 fig., 4 tab. Available at: <>. Accessed 15 May 2012

[2] UN-Water, 04 May 2012

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Source: AMCOW, 14 May 2012

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