A Framework and Guidelines for Moving Toward Sustainable Water Resources Management

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Because water is essential for survival, it touches every sector of life – environmental, economic, and social. There are no policies, practices, or procedures in any sector that do not directly or indirectly affect water. Many water resources management frameworks, however, typically focus on only one or two of these sectors. To move toward sustainability, it is critical that water resources management frameworks address the interactions among elements in each of these sectors.

This paper presents a conceptual framework and guidelines that integrates ecological, economic, and social considerations through institutional and legal/regulatory constructs to move toward sustainable water resources management (SWRM). Implementation of the framework is guided by a process flow-chart that considers both crisis management and proactive management activities. Nearly all the information needed to move toward sustainable water resources management is available, but dispersed throughout the literature.

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