The Dublin Guiding Principles

Cover: GWP-TAC Background Papers No. 3, The Dublin Principles for Water as Reflected in a Comparative Assessment of Institutional and Legal Arrangements for Integrated Water Resources Management 1999

Cover: GWP-TAC Background Papers No. 3, The Dublin Principles for Water as Reflected in a Comparative Assessment of Institutional and Legal Arrangements for Integrated Water Resources Management 1999
Image Credit: Solanes & Gonzalez-Villarreal (1999)

Dublin principles as a guide: General principles, approaches and guidelines relevant to IWRM are numerous and each has its areas of appropriate application. The Dublin principles are a particularly useful set of such principles. They have been carefully formulated in an international consultative process culminating in the International Conference on Water and the Environment in Dublin, 1992. They aim to promote changes in those concepts and practices, which are considered fundamental for improving water resources management. These principles are not static; in the light of experience, there is a clear need of updating and adding specificity to the principles regarding their interpretation and practical implementation. (Agarwal et al. 2000)

Dublin Guiding Principles:

  • I Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the environment.
  • II Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners and policy-makers at all levels.
  • III Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water.
  • IV Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good. (Solanes & Gonzalez-Villarreal 1999)

In addition:

The IWRM framework, as developed by the Global Water Partnership (GWP), consists of three E's - economic efficiency, social equity and ecosystem sustainability. (Conradin 2012a)