Nov 23, 2011

Recently Released Policy Brief Outlines Developing Solutions for Water Management

Policy brief authors call for collaboration in focusing on solutions for sustainability

A policy brief published by the International Project Office of the Global Water System Project outlines how scientists and policymakers can advance water security by focusing on interdisciplinary research and ensuring that all stakeholders are involved in developing sustainable solutions to water problems. The policy brief was produced to inform the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.

Authors say Rio+20 is an opportunity to strengthen commitment to integrated and sustainable management of water resources, which are coming under increasing pressure. Scientists can offer knowledge, information and technical tools, but governments must set up frameworks for better water management, and many other stakeholders—including decision makers, managers and technical personnel—must be involved to foster commitment and facilitate conflict resolution. As water crosses natural and political boundaries, governments must consider the water needs of all sectors.

Research shows that good governance depends on having multiple centers of control, effective legal frameworks, reduced inequalities, free access to information and meaningful participation by stakeholders. In turn, good governance can help attract needed funds for clean water and sanitation.

The authors conclude that, in order to develop solutions for sustainable water management, it is important to go beyond technical solutions to understand the complexities of the global water system—including the social and political dynamics, as well as human behaviors related to water use.

This policy brief was compiled by the International Project Office of the Global Water System Project based in Bonn, Germany. It was commissioned by the international conference Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions.