IWRM at the City Level
The fundamental premise is generally accepted that IWRM should be applied at catchment level, recognising the catchment or watershed as the basic hydrological unit of analysis and management. At implementation level, there is a growing conviction that integrated urban water management (IUWM) could be pursued as a vital component of IWRM within the specific problematic context of urban areas.

Cities are dominant features in the catchments where they occur, and successes in IUWM will make important contributions to the theory and practice of integrated catchment management (ICM) and IWRM in the broader basin context. Thus, IUWM is not seen as a goal in itself, rather a practical means to facilitate one important sub-system of the hydrological basin. IUWM must inter alia endeavour to optimise the interfacing of urban water concerns with relevant activities beyond the urban boundaries, such as rural water supply, down-stream use, and agriculture

IUWM means that in the planning and operation of urban water management, consideration should be given to the interaction and collective impact of all water-related urban processes on issues such as human health; environmental protection; quality of receiving waters; water demand; affordability; land and water-based recreation; and stakeholder satisfaction. In addition, IUWM requires involvement by stakeholders such as those responsible for water supply and sanitation services, storm water and solid waste management, regulating authorities, householders, industrialists, labour unions, environmentalists, downstream users, and recreation groups. While local authorities are well placed to initiate and oversee IWRM/IUWM programmes, planning and implementation should be driven by a combination of top-down regulatory responsibility and bottom-up user needs/obligations. Top-heavy governmental approaches are to be discouraged because they become bureaucratic and unresponsive to the concerns of water users.

Source: Industry Sector Report for WSSD prepared by IWA
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