Equitable Water Resource Management
The Equitable Water Resource Management approach contributes to fair and sustainable water management arrangements and outcomes between people, current and future generations, and humans and the environment.
Water resource management is central to managing floods and droughts, satisfying the need for different uses, and conserving the water resource base and the broader ecosystem. We need to manage water in an integrated way, but integration is not an end in itself. SNV sees integration as a means to achieve the equitable distribution of benefits and burdens of water management: between people, between current and future generations, and between humans and the environment.
Over the past 30 years, the legal and institutional framework for Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) at the national level has progressed immensely. However, this has only partially translated into better practices on the ground.
Local permits and licenses have locked areas into water use and pollution patterns that are unequal, unsustainable, and increase climate vulnerabilities for future generations. At the same time, water resource management interventions on the ground have concentrated largely on implementing very broad approaches, leaning towards integrated livelihood interventions. Missing here is a focus on how water is shared equitably and sustainably, and how pollution must be regulated.
We apply a holistic approach to water resource management, focusing our efforts on the root causes of inequity in water use, pollution, and hazards. Key components of our Equitable Water Resource Management (EWRM) approach include the strengthening of multi-level water governance, improving the availability and use of global and local data on water, co-designing greater accountability – mechanisms at national and local levels, for water use, extraction, and pollution and introducing improved financing and investment models for water resource management and the maintenance of grey and green investments.
Our Equitable Water Resource Management approach can be implemented in an integrated way with any of SNV’s water approaches: Climate Resilient Rural WASH, Sustainable Urban Water Cycle, and Sustainable Inclusive Irrigation.
Photo credit: Kazi Md Jahirul for SNV and HOV Bangladesh.