Handbook on Water Management - page 6

Freshwater resources are increasingly used, wasted and polluted, with the result that aquatic ecosystems
are threatened and sometimes destroyed.
Aquatic ecosystems provide several services for producing, regulating and structuring.Wetlands improve
water quality by trapping sediments, filtering pollutants and absorbing nutrients. They play also a key role in
the control of floods and prevention of droughts. However, human action and activities often disturb the
structure of the biotope, cause organic pollution andmany of theworld’s rivers have become fragmented.
Many countries have introduced an integrated approach towater resourcesmanagement (IWRM) into their
policies. Hydrological, social, economic and environmental interdependences occur in the catchment areas
of rivers, lakes and aquifers. This is thereforewhere integrated development andmanagement of water
resources and territories is likely to be themost successful.
The joint study of “green” and “grey” infrastructure constitutes a new paradigm, andNaturalWater Retention
Measures provide awide range of benefits for flood control and ecosystem services. Combining the
conservation of aquatic ecosystem serviceswith IWRM is a very effective strategy for achievingwater
security and adapting to the effects of climate change.
To support this process, the International Network of BasinOrganizations (INBO), theGlobalWater
Partnership (GWP), ONEMA and the International Office forWater (IOWater) haveworked together to publish
thisHandbook. This collectivework provides relevant and practical information that can assist the improved
management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems.
ThisHandbook addresses a large number of stakeholders involved both in restoration of ecosystems and
integratedmanagement of water resources, including practitioners and,more broadly, representatives of
public authorities, water users, non-governmental stakeholders and anyonewith an interest in these subjects.
They all are invited towork together tomeet themany current and future challenges.
This newwork supplements theHandbook for IntegratedWater ResourcesManagement inBasins, published
inMarch 2009 at the FifthWorldWater Forum in Istanbul, and theHandbook for IntegratedWater Resources
Management in Transboundary Basins of Rivers, Lakes andAquifers, published inMarch 2012 at the 6
WorldWater Forum inMarseille. Another handbook is being published simultaneously, in partnershipwith
UNECE, on “Water and climate change adaptation in transboundary basins: Lessons learned and good
Wewelcome your comments and contributions to this new handbook, whichwe consider to be a platform
for sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions.
.org | www.
Jean-François Donzier
Mohamed Ait Kadi
Permanent Technical Secretary
Chair of GWP Technical Committee
International Network of BasinOrganizations
GlobalWater Partnership
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