Social Innovation Factsheet #2.2: Water Use Efficiency
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment. An IWRM approach includes complementary methods to water management which may include: technical improvement of infrastructure and water networks, human capacity development for operations and applications, social acceptance and productive change of water smart behaviours, legal adaptation with regulation, economic measures, ecosystem-based responses and virtual water and exchanges of water footprint between territories.
Water Use Efficiency (WUE) is a direct action approach for better water management of scarce resources, and can be part of an IWRM approach. WUE gains can be achieved in all sectors. The biggest gains are linked to the sectors with the highest water withdrawals and consumption such as the agricultural and domestic sectors which accounts for 70% and 10% of the total world’s water withdrawals respectively