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TitleUrban water and sanitation services : an IWRM approach
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsRees, JA
Secondary TitleTEC background papers / Global Water Partnership
Volumeno. 11
Pagination56 p. : 6 boxes, 3 fig.
Date Published2006-06-01
PublisherGlobal Water Partnership (GWP)
Place PublishedStockholm, Sweden
ISSN Number9185321648
Keywordsdecision making, integrated approach, legislation, policies, sanitation services, sdiurb, sdiwrm, urban areas, urbanization, water resources management, water supply services

The rapid pace and scale of urbanization represents a considerable challenge for water resources management, the delivery of essential water and sanitation services and environmental protection. To help meet these challenges there is a need to adopt an integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach which explicitly recognizes the complex sets of interdependency relationships which exist within and between human and environmental systems. This need arises because of the negative externalities created by the uncoordinated use of water and land resources and by the uncoordinated provision of interdependent basic services; the opportunity costs of employing scarce water, land and capital for low value purposes; and the cost savings which can occur by widening the range of provision or management options.
An IWRM approach when applied in an urban context cannot simply consider matters within the built up area itself. It must recognize intersectoral competition for resources (physical, social and financial), the role of the urban sector in meeting national developmental priorities, and negative impacts of urban provision practices on other parts of the economy.
There is evidence to suggest that in some countries decentralized urban water services have the advantages of allowing more demand responsive provision, greater accountability, and technical flexibility without significant losses of economies of scale and scope. However, such decentralized systems have to operate within a strong strategic and regulatory framework. There are relatively few urban management tools which are automatically compatible with the efficiency, equity and environmental sustainability objectives of IWRM. Implementation practice is crucial.

NotesBibliography: p. 52-55
Custom 1210


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