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does not focus on this kind of highly balanced experience in
integrated plans, which would facilitate more concrete
IWRM development. Spiritual and Cultural Aspects of Water
Water is the common symbol of humanity, social
equity, and justice. It is one of our compelling links with the
sacred, with nature, and with our cultural heritage (Dooge,
2003). A case in point is the Ganges River in South Asia,
which has a very strong spiritual and cultural significance to
all Indians, Bangladeshis, and Nepalese. Regrettably, the
current IWRM mechanism does not acknowledge water’s
spiritual and cultural dimensions. Without recognizing these,
it is possible that all efforts towards sustainable water
resources management may be piecemeal and ephemeral. Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fisheries and aquaculture are crucial for human
survival and poverty reduction; they provide an inexpensive
source of protein to meet nutritional demands in many parts
of the world, and therefore should command special attention
Unfortunately, fisheries are generally undervalued
in terms of their contribution to food security, income
generation, and ecosystem functioning (LARS2, 2004). FAO
(2000) estimates that between 15 and 20% of animal protein
consumed by humans is derived from aquatic animals, and
that fish is eaten more than any other type of animal protein.
In 1999, the world average consumption of fish, crustaceans,
and mollusks was 16.3 kg per person. Among the world’s
thirty countries with the highest proportion of fish
consumption, twenty-six are developing nations. Fish is
particularly important for the nutrition of the poor.
Aquaculture is the most rapidly growing industry
when looking at protein production for human consumption.
Although aquaculture and coastal and marine fisheries do not
directly rely on freshwater, the input of nutrient and
sediment from inland streams, particularly into estuaries and
coastal zones, results in an interplay between marine and
inland water ecosystems that is not addressed sufficiently in
the present IWRM debate. The same goes for fisheries. Conclusion
IWRM has unquestionably become one of the
mainstream initiatives discussed by governments. The major
challenge remains its effective implementation in the field.
The conviction that IWRM can provide sustainable water
security for every citizen into the twenty-first century has
forced water professionals and IWRM to become more
responsible to world citizens, especially towards the poor.
The main hurdle lies in the practical
implementation of the theoretically agreed-upon IWRM
policies (Lahtela, 2001, Biswas, 2005). IWRM could be
reduced to an idealistic buzzword if water professionals fail
to overcome this hurdle. The seven points discussed in this
paper should be incorporated within IWRM policies and
principles to overcome implementation challenges and to
ensure sustainable water resources management.
A practical challenge to the concept of IWRM is
found at two levels. First, water is related to development
and societies in countless ways. Its priorities and relative
importance vary enormously from one place to another.
Second, water must be seen as one factor in a broader
context (Varis, 2005).
We have a feeling that, whereas summit meetings
scrutinize and promote concepts such as Integrated Water
Resources Management, Integrated Forestry Management,
Integrated Pest Management, and so forth, the different
concepts and related policies are not integrated. This paper
has discussed only some of the shortcomings in meeting
IWRM challenges. The palette examined was not
comprehensive since, as mentioned before, conditions vary
enormously, but these issues are important in many
localities, even though neglected in the concurrent IWRM
discourse. We leave the second level of challenge to future
analyses, since it, indeed, deserves a profound and focused
analysis. The water sector is sparse in integrating its
integrated plans, compared to other tightly related sectors,
such as energy, agriculture, and forestry. This would be
comical if it were not true. Need to Focus on Past IWRM Experience Integrati...
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This note was uploaded on 01/08/2014 for the course SUST 520 taught by Professor Asunkis during the Fall '13 term at Black Hills State University.
- Fall '13