Integrated Water Resources Management: A Comparative Laboratory for Water Governance
International Journal of Water Governance , Volume 1 - Issue 3-4 p. 177- 196
In this article the special issue on Integrated Water Resources Management is introduced. This special issue aims to add substantially to comparative cross-country knowledge building. The paper builds upon the insights gained from the various contributions to this special issue, coming from 13 different countries spread across the globe. The concept of IWRM is discussed from the angles of the Rio-Dublin principles, Global Water Partnership definition and concepts and ideas from adaptive governance. Furthermore, integration is discussed as the core of IWRM: functional, societal and institutional integration. Based on the insight gained from the range of contributions from this special issue, we argue that IWRM needs more systematic and comparative approaches from both administrative (de)centralization and economic development points of view. Moreover, in our comparative study we found trade-offs between the three identified forms of integration. We argue that a perspective of an adaptive walk is required that tries to gain more understanding in specific decentralization-centralization configurations per case/country/region leading to (misfits in) functional, societal and institutional integration regarding IWRM. Keywords: integrated water resources management, functional, societal and institutional integration, adaptive governance, (de)centralization, economic development.