Climate change, demographic change, economics and environmental
legislation such as the Water Framework Directive all necessitate a
more integrated approach to the management of water.
Water is one resource but it has many uses. In its management
are a complex and diverse range of both people and processes. As a
result of the way the UK's water industry has evolved, issues in
the water environment have traditionally been observed as either
temporally or spatially discrete and worked within narrow
disciplines to solve them. CIWEM considers that the administrative
structures, boundaries, relationships and experience in the water
industry will need to be evaluated in the light of changing
IWM allows us to manage water from a wider perspective.
Looking at the wider water system identifies where an activity in
one part of the system may create a benefit (or an unforeseen cost)
to another. IWM moves our thinking beyond water to other agendas
such as energy and carbon, planning, waste, biodiversity,
agriculture and ecosystem services. It can lead to cost
savings by creating efficiencies between local and national
projects and make more effective use of project costs. It
also acts as a driver for new environmental management
skills and new organisational practices.
Integrated Water Management (IWM) presents the
findings of a CIWEM workstream on the
subject. In October 2010, CIWEM held the 5th in a
series of conferences on the topic to identify the criteria and
principles of IWM and demonstrate examples of it in practice.
Whilst achieving more integration has been on the agenda in the
water industry for a number of years, and we have examples of best
practice, meaningful progress has been limited. This report aims to
identify the challenges and barriers to integration and how these
can be potentially overcome.
Supporting the Briefing Report is a Case Study
document to showcase some of the leading work in the sector
both from the UK and abroad.
A catchment is the land area from which all water drains towards
a single watercourse. Since the 1970's the UK has gradually
advanced towards managing the interactions between land-use and
water on a catchment basis. A catchment management approach
recognises that environmental problems in a catchment are best
solved at their source and in a holistic manner. The health of a
watercourse depends upon the wise use of land and other natural
resources in the wider catchment. This is because there is a
complex array of interactions between land, air, and water. An
integrated approach is therefore needed to manage the water
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