Spiritual and cultural aspects of water water is the

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Unformatted text preview: sm 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 within IWRM. 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.

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