A Clash of Paradigms in the Water Sector? Tensions and Synergies Between Integrated Water Resources Management and the Human Rights-Based Approach to Development
57 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 1, 2010
Water resources management has been shaped by a variety of paradigms reflecting the evolution of government policies and transient societal values. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) became a predominant management framework in the 1990s. The Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to development has also emerged recently as an influential approach in the water sector. IWRM and the HRBA to development in the water sector overlap significantly. The interactions between the two approaches remain largely unexplored although their repercussions may be significant. Because they do not share identical premises and objectives, the concurrent implementation the two approaches might also lead to tensions detrimental to water resources management. The aim of this article is to explore the interactions between IWRM and the HRBA to development in the water sector. Questions raised by perceived conflicts are identified to help address potential tensions when the two approaches coexist. Synergies between IWRM and the HRBA are also detailed to establish how the two approaches are aligned.
Keywords: Water, Human Rights, Human Rights-Based Approach to Development (HRBA), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
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