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Integrating three E’s

IWRM is not an end in itself but a means of achieving three key strategic objectives.

  • efficiency to make water resources last as long as possible;
  • equity in the allocation of water across social and economic groups;
  • environmental sustainability to protect the water resources and associated ecosystems.

It would be easy for a policy maker facing the prospect of wholesale governance change to conclude that it is all too complex with too many difficult trade-offs and choices to make. It may seem much easier and certainly politically safer to maintain current policies and practices and avoid confronting the vested interests which gain from the status quo. However, doing nothing is not an option. Problems will simply get worse and be more difficult to tackle. (GWP 2013a)