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Seeing the big picture

Water scarcity, competition between users, contamination, pollution, flooding. In many parts of the world, WASH services are already being impacted by these challenges and climate change will only make matters worse. For water and sanitation services to be sustainable, long-term planning needs to look at the bigger picture of water resources, in other words integrated water resources management (IWRM). Integrated water resources management is an approach to development and management of water that also considers land and other natural resources and the multiple users of water, including ecosystems. 

Tools & guidance

IRC's work to ensure sustainable water resources is wide-ranging. It includes:

  • tools and approaches for water resources management that are appropriate to the settings in which we work, particularly where there are limited institutional capacities for planning and regulation;
  • guidelines for multiple-use services that link domestic, agriculture, small-scale business and other water requirements;
  • innovative solutions for the disposal of waste, including solutions that treat waste as a valuable resource; and (see sanitation block)
  • a framework and guidelines for water governance based on the involvement of those that use and manage water - from the EMPOWERS project.


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