Social Innovation Factsheet #2.5: Integrated Water Resources Management at river-basin scale
A River Basin is a hydrologic area with a common outlet for the flow of water. It often gathers a great diversity in terms of water availability (upstream, downstream), climates, water qualities and uses that can change with time and space. River basins may also be very fragmented in terms of governance, management and legal competencies.
The 5 key principles for Integrated Basin Management, drawn from the experience of INBO’s members and observer organizations, can be listed as follows: (i) Integrated Water Information Systems (EWIS) is an essential tool in order to have good knowledge of the state of the resource, the uses, the polluting pressures, the risks, the ecosystems and their functioning and evolutions; (ii) The multiannual management plans define the objectives to be achieved in the medium and long term; (iii) The programs of measures and investments are key tools to implement IWRM, always considering the capacities in terms of actions/investments; (iv) Promote the mobilization of specific financial resources, and basin solidarity, on the basis of the «polluter pays» and «user pays» principles; (v) Ensuring the participation of stakeholders in decision-making (public administrations, local authorities, representatives of different categories of users, associations for the protection of the environment, etc.) is necessary in order to promote good ownership of planning and realisation of actions.