Integrated Water Resources Management

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a form of ecosystem-based management which fosters participation and encourages respect for the diverse values and aspirations of communities.

Problems and Purpose

Whereas traditional water resource management often fails to address the complexity, uncertainty, and conflict in modern water resources planning, integrated management approaches have emerged to fill in these gaps. IWRM takes a bottom-up, as opposed to a top-down, approach to governing the natural environment and often utilises participatory democracy in decision-making.[1]

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a form of ecosystem-based management

Origins and Development

Integrated Water Resource Management is a relatively recent approach to the governance and upkeep of natural resources. Its development accords with a global turn in the understanding of natural resources as interconnected and in need of conservation and careful management alongside and in concert with human activities. Alongside other ecosystem-based approaches, "IWRM is emerging as an accepted alternative to the sector-by-sector, top-down management style that has dominated in the past."[2] 

Participant Recruitment and Selection

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Analysis and Lessons Learned

See Also

Ecosystem-based Management 


[1] Fielding, J. (2016). Evaluating the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable Planning Process and the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation Framework. MRM Report 634. Burnaby, BC: School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University.

[2] "What is IWRM?," Global Water Partnership, December 7, 2011,

External Links

Global Water Partnership - What is IWRM?