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  • WIS > Biota and Ecosystems > 2014 Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (IWRMP) – Development and Supporting Studies

2014 Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (IWRMP) – Development and Supporting Studies

 

Introduction

This article outlines the aims and objectives of the basin-wide Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Plan development  as well as how the work would be carried out through a combination of consolidation of technical studies and stakeholder consultation. During the development of the IWRM Plan it is ensured that the key basic elements are agreed up on by ORASECOM before following steps are taken.

Contributing Technical Studies

The following studies done for ORASECOM through donor funding organisations contributes towards the development of the IWRM Plan:

Related Articles:

2014 Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (IWRMP) – Summary and Documents

The Process of developing the IWRM Plan

The proposed approach for building the plan is shown in the flow chart below. As can be seen from the flow chart, development of the plan is built on a Vision of IWRM for the basin and associated themes and strategic objectives.

Flow chart for building the IWRM Plan (Click to enlarge)

Flow chart for building the IWRM Plan
(Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preliminary work derived seven themes, four considered as “central” and three as “cross-cutting”. These themes are only preliminary and will be finalised through consultation with key stakeholders.

The four central themes were presented as follows:

  • Optimised management of the basins water resources
  • Social upliftment and poverty reduction
  • Environmental degradation (aquatic and terrestrial environments
  • Disaster management (especially flood and drought, climate change)

The three cross-cutting themes were presented as follows:

  • Adequate knowledge base.
  • Capacity building and institutional strengthening
  • Stakeholder consultation and participation

To date work has focussed on trying to consolidate these themes and to ensure that they reflect a Vision of IWRM for the Orange-Senqu Basin. Consultative processes have been initiated to ensure that progress is made towards consensus on the Vision and strategic objections that would guide further development of the Plan.

Goals and Vision

Despite the fact that an IWRM Plan for the basin has been on ORASECOM’s agenda for many years, a vision of IWRM for the basin remains absent. Such a vision is necessary to provide direction for the IWRM Plan. It is generally agreed that the overall objective for the IWRM Plan; agreed at high-level stakeholder workshop (“Delphi process”) in 2011 provides a good point of departure for the visioning process. This, the seven provisional themes already introduced above, an overview of various initiatives, plans; strategies, agreements and treaties were used by the Regional Working Group to carry out a visioning exercise in Pretoria in October 2013. The details of this process are provided in a comprehensive workshop report.

Participants in the workshop first critically examined the seven provisional themes and came up with suggestions for both revisions and additions. They then developed goals on which the Vision statement could be based. These are summarised in the table below.

Provisional theme Goal Comments
4 Central themes / goals

Optimised sustainable management of the basins water resources

Optimised sustainable management of the basins water resources

“Sustainable” added. Concept of optimisation is important and is retained

Socio-economic upliftment and poverty eradication

Socio-economic upliftment and eradication of poverty

“social” changed to “socio-economic” and “reduction” to “eradication”

Environmental degradation (aquatic and terrestrial environments)

The adverse effects of catchment degradation are reduced and the sustainability of resource use is improved (adapted from SAP)

Security from water-related disasters (especially flood, drought, climate change)

Security from water-related disasters

Changed from “disaster management” to be in line with Regional Water Policy

5 enabling themes / goals (previously “cross-cutting”)

Adequate knowledge base

Knowledge base in place, adequate to ensure realisation of goals 1-4

Suggestion to change to “knowledge management” for theme. However concept of “adequacy” as enabler is considered appropriate

Capacity building and institutional strengthening

Sufficient capacity and institutional strength to ensure realisation of goals 1–4.

Stakeholder consultation and participation

Sufficient level of stakeholder participation to ensure realisation of goals 1-4.

Financing mechanisms

Appropriate financing mechanisms in place to ensure realisation of goals 1-4.

New theme

Adaptive management, monitoring and evaluation

High level of adaptive management, effective monitoring and evaluation to ensure realisation of goals 1-4

New theme

2 cross-cutting themes / goals

Climate change

Adaptation to potential impacts of climate change mainstreamed into planned actions

Cuts across all central themes and some enabling themes

Gender mainstreaming

Consideration of gender mainstreamed into planned actions

Cuts across all most central themes and enabling themes

In the above table the four central themes are maintained. However, there are now five “enabling” themes (previously referred to as three “cross-cutting” themes). Two genuinely cross-cutting themes have been added. It is proposed to adopt these themes and goals for taking further in development of the IWRM Plan.

One of the aims of defining goals was to facilitate the drawing up of a Vision of IWRM for the basin. The Regional Working Group worked on this task using essentially the goals associated with the four central themes to define the Vision. After some debate and bearing in mind that the Vision (statement) is a vision of the future after the achievement of the goals, a Vision was agreed by the Regional Working Group as follows:

A well-managed water secure basin with prosperous inhabitants living in harmony in a healthy environment.

There was some discussion as to whether there was a need to explore possible slight amendments or rewording to provide a stronger emphasis on sustainability and development. This could still be considered but it can be argued that “well-managed’, “secure” and “prosperous” adequately capture the ideas of sustainability and development.

It should be stressed that the Vision statement does not aim to state how or what has to be done for the envisioned future state to be achieved. The identification of those mechanisms will be achieved through consideration of what actions are required to realise the goals. The above Vision Statement has been proposed for approval by ORASECOM.

Strategic Objectives

Transformation of the proposed themes or goals into strategic objectives is straightforward:

Central objectives:

  1. Ensure the optimised sustainable management of the basins water resources
  2. Support socio-economic upliftment and eradication of poverty in the basin
  3. Ensure that the adverse effects of catchment degradation are reduced and the sustainability of resource use is improved
  4. Maximise security from water-related disasters (especially flood and drought)

Enabling strategic objectives:

In order to support the realisation of central strategic objectives:

  1. Put an adequate knowledge base in place,
  2. Build sufficient capacity and institutional strength,
  3. Promote high level of stakeholder engagement
  4. Ensure appropriate financing mechanisms are in place,
  5. Promote adaptive management and effective monitoring and evaluation systems.

Cross-cutting strategic objectives:

  1. Promote the main-streaming of adaptation to potential impacts of climate change into planned actions
  2. Ensure the main-streaming of gender considerations into planned actions

 

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