Session FT 2.41
IWRM in the North
- Northern Water Network (NoWNET)
- U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers (USACE)
This session focused on 2 themes; “Water Reform & Institutional Development in the North” and “EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and IWRM”. Countries in the North have a long way to go towards implementing IWRM. A recent survey by the Japan Water Forum (JWF) suggests that most countries in the North have, despite the commitments made at the WSSD (Johannesburg 2002), made little or no progress in crafting their national IWRM plans.
On the other hand, with many industrialized countries having recently undergone water reform and institutional development, there is a wealth of information available about different approaches to integrated water resources management (IWRM) and, more importantly, how these various approaches have succeeded or failed. NoWNET provides a platform for countries in the North to share experience in effective practices. Under the second theme, the merits and weaknesses of the EU WFD were debated
As there is no one singular strategy to IWRM, each country must develop its own plan that takes account of its distinct physical, institutional, and socioeconomic conditions. The United States and the Netherlands, for example, have taken very different approaches to IWRM, yet have both managed to adopt successful strategies. This is also the reason the new European Union Water Framework Directive has been the focus of some criticism. Northern countries need also to take this into consideration when providing aid to developing countries.
- One of the most important benefits of the country water network is that it starts with the partnership of water institutions within a country. This enables it to share all of its experience with other countries.
- Countries in the North have problems too! In North-South dialogues it is often assumed that the North has the answers, but countries in the North face serious problems, particularly on water quality and the environment. There is a great need to share experiences and practices among ourselves.
Orientations for action
NoWNET will continue to participate in activities to share knowledge, promote good water management and develop networking among partners and non-partners. It will facilitate and support the creation of additional country-level water partnerships and will co-ordinate and collaborate as appropriate in connection with bilateral linkages between partnerships in the North and South.
Local Actions presented
Water Reform & Institutional Development in Australia
Mr. Volker Aeuckens, National Water Commission, Australia
The Australian experience described how reforms under their national water initiative lead to a “nationally compatible market-based system for the management of surface and groundwater.” Australia overcame the obstacles associated with being a federation, which was identified as “an inspirational example” for representatives from the USA and Canada.
Current of National Water Resources Plan in the Republic of Korea: Water Vision 2020
Dr. Il-pyo Hong, Korea Water Forum
The Korean experience focused on the integration of different IWRM tools, such as R&D, into their national water reform process that includes the establishment of a national committee for water management.
Comparison and Contrast of U.S. and Dutch Water Management
Dr. Bert Toussaint, Rijkswaterstaat.
A comparative analysis of the history of water development in the United States and the Netherlands showed how both countries have managed to adopt successful strategies despite taking relatively different approaches.
EU Water Framework Directive and IWRM
Mr Henrik Larsen, Danish Hydraulic Institute
It was made clear that the WFD, which is focused on the environment and pollution concerns, is not sufficiently balanced with socio-economic development goals to be considered as an IWRM strategy per se. However, IWRM is very complex and challenging, and there are very good parts of the WFD (basin approach, public participation, precautionary principle, transparency) that fall within IWRM. Europe has a lot to share with the South, and the positive elements of the WFD could be exported, including experiences. But the WFD itself cannot be exported to the South as IWRM.