Zero Hunger

2020 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökçin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Integrated Water Management to Meet Competing Demands in Agricultural and Other Sectors

  • Alfred OpereEmail author
Reference work entry


Water resource management is the business of planning, developing, distributing, and managing the optimum use of water resources. It takes into account all the competing demands for water and seeks to allocate water on an equitable basis to satisfy all uses and demands (UNESCO/WMO 1992).

Integrated water resource management (IWRM) is a process that promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources in order to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. IWRM seeks to manage water resources in a comprehensive and holistic way, taking account of the entire water cycle and the interests of all water users, while acknowledging the temporal and spatial variability in availability and the interactions with water quality and ecology (GWP 2000).


Water is a scarce natural resource, essential for life and to carry out the vast majority of economic...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Alexandratos N, Bruinsma J (2012) World agriculture towards 2030/2050: the 2012 revision. ESA working paper no. 12–03. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  2. Amador D-S, Álvarez-García J, del Río-Rama M d l C (2018) Sustainable water resources management: a bibliometric overview. Water 10:1191. Scholar
  3. Bates BC, Kundzewicz ZW, Wu S, Palutikof JP (eds) (2008) Climate change and water: technical paper of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. IPCC, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  4. Breyer B, Zipper SC, Qiu J (2018) Sociohydrological impacts of water conservation under anthropogenic drought in Austin, TX (USA). Water Resour Res 54:3062–3080. Scholar
  5. Burek P, Satoh Y, Fischer G, Kahil MT, Scherzer A, Tramberend S, Nava LF, Wada Y, Eisner S, Flörke M, Hanasaki N, Magnuszewski P, Cosgrove B, Wiberg D (2016) Water futures and solution – fast track initiative (final report) – IIASA working paper WP 16–006
  6. Burney JA, Naylor RL (2012) Smallholder irrigation as a poverty alleviation tool in sub-Saharan Africa. World Dev 40(1):110–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Castillo GE, Namara RE (2007) Reversing the flow: agricultural water management pathways for poverty reduction. In: Molden D (ed) Water for food, water for life: the comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture. Earthscan, UK. Scholar
  8. Cosgrove WJ, Loucks DP (2015) Water management: current and future challenges and research directions. Water Resour Res 51:4823–4839. Scholar
  9. de Fraiture C, Giordano M (2014) Small private irrigation: a thriving but overlooked sector. Agric Water Manag 131:167–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Death C, Gabay C (2015) Doing biopolitics differently? Radical potential in the post2015 MDG and SDG debates. Globalizations 12(4):597–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Di Baldassarre G, Viglione A, Carr G, Kuil L, Salinas JL, Blöschl G (2013a) Socio-hydrology: conceptualising human-flood interactions. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 17(8):3295–3303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Di Baldassarre G, Kooy M, Kemerink JS, Brandimarte L (2013b) Towards understanding the dynamic behaviour of floodplains as human-water systems. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 17(8):3235–3244. Scholar
  13. Di Baldassarre G, Viglione A, Carr G, Kuil L, Yan K, Brandimarte L, Blöschl G (2015) Perspectives on socio-hydrology: capturing feedbacks between physical and social processes. Water Resour Res 51:4770–4781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Di Baldassarre G, Martinez F, Kalantari Z, Viglione A (2017) Drought and flood in the Anthropocene: feedback mechanisms in reservoir operation. Earth Syst Dynam 8:225–233. Scholar
  15. FAO (2011) Save and grow: a policy maker’s guide to the sustainable intensification of the smallholder crop production. FAO, Rome. Scholar
  16. FAO (2014) Building a common vision for sustainable food and agriculture: principles and approaches. FAO, Rome. Scholar
  17. FAO and WWC (2015) Towards a water and food secure future: critical perspectives for policy-makers. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  18. FAO/IFAD/UNICEF/WFP/WHO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/International Fund for Agricultural Development/United Nations Children’s Fund/World Food Programme/World Health Organization) (2017) The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2017: building resilience for peace and food security. Rome, FAO. Scholar
  19. Fukuda-Parr S (2016) From the millennium development goals to the sustainable development goals: shifts in purpose, concept, and politics of global goal setting for development. Gend Dev 24(1):43–52. Scholar
  20. Giordano M, de Fraiture C (2014) Small private irrigation: enhancing benefits and managing trade-offs. Agric Water Manag 31:175–182. Scholar
  21. Giordano M, de Fraiture C, Weight E, van der Bliek J (eds) (2012) Water for wealth and food security: supporting farmer-driven investments in agricultural water management. Synthesis report of the Agwater solutions project. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo. Scholar
  22. Global Water Partnership (2000) Integrated water resources management. TAC background papers no. 4, p. 22. GWP Secretariat, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  23. Global Water Partnership (2002) ToolBox, integrated water resources management.
  24. Global Water Partnership (2006) GWP in Action (on-line). Accessed 01 Dec 2006
  25. Gohari A, Eslamian S, Mirchi A, Abedi-Koupaei J, Massah Bavani A, Madani K (2013) Water transfer as a solution to water shortage: a fix that can backfire. J Hydrol 491:23–39. Scholar
  26. Hagos F, Jayasinghe G, Awulachew SB, Loulseged M, Yilma AD (2012) Agricultural water management and poverty in Ethiopia. Agric Econ 43(Supplement s1):99–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. HLPE (High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition Committee on World Food Security) (2015) Water for food security and nutrition: a report by the high-level panel of experts on food security and nutrition. Rome, HLPE. Scholar
  28. Horne J (2019) Water demand reduction to help meet SDG 6: learning from major Australian cities. Int J Water Resour Dev.
  29. Hussein H, Menga F, Greco F (2018) Monitoring transboundary water cooperation in SDG 6.5. 2: how a critical hydropolitics approach can spot inequitable outcomes. Sustainability 10(10):3640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. IFAD (2010) Rural poverty report 2011: new realities, new challenges: new opportunities for tomorrow’s generation. IFAD, Rome. Scholar
  31. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (2015) Annual report 2015Google Scholar
  32. Karen H, Pittock J (2012) The energy-Water nexus: Managing the links between energy and water for a sustainable future. Journal of Ecology and Society, 17(1). Resilience Alliance PublishersGoogle Scholar
  33. Mallakpour I, AghaKouchak A, Sadegh M (2019) Climate-induced changes in the risk of hydrological failure of major dams in California. Geophys Res Lett 46(4):2130–2139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Namara RE, Munir A, Hanjra MA, Castillo GE, Ravnborg HM, Smith L, van Koppen B (2010) Agricultural water management and poverty linkages. Agric Water Manag 97:520–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Savenije HHG, van der Zaag P, (2008) Intergrated Water Resources Management: Concepts and Issues. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth; Parts A/B/C. 33(5):290–297Google Scholar
  36. Shahadat H, Rahman M, Tamim M (2013) Coping with new challenges in water resources management in Bangladesh (Book Chapter). Publisher: Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Socio-economic Conditions of Bangladesh and Mitigation Measures Editor: DAADGoogle Scholar
  37. Sivapalan M, Savenjie HHG, Blöschl G (2012) Socio-hydrology: a new science of people and water. Hydrol Process 26(8):1270–1276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sivapalan M, Konar M, Srinivasan V, Chhatre A, Wutich A, Scott CA, Wescoat JL, Rodriguez-Iturbe I (2014) Socio-hydrology: use-inspired water sustainability science for the Anthropocene. Earth’s Future 2:225–230. Scholar
  39. Srinivasan V, Lambin EF, Gorelick SM, Thompson BH, Rozelle S (2012) The nature and causes of the global water crisis: syndromes from a meta-analysis of coupled human-water studies. Water Resour Res 48(10):W10516. Scholar
  40. Sultana F (2018) An (other) geographical critique of development and SDGs. Dialogues Hum Geogr 8:186–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. UN Water (2016) Water and sanitation interlinkages across the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
  42. UN Water (2018) Sustainable development goal 6, synthesis report 2018 on water and sanitation. Executive summary,
  43. UN Water (2019) World water development report.
  44. UNDESA (2017) Weltbevölkerung – Anzahl der Einwohner auf der Welt 2015. Cited after Retrieved from
  45. UNDP (2006) Human development report (on-line). Accessed 20 Nov 2006
  46. UNESCO/WMO (1992) International glossary of hydrology (2nd edn). UNESCO/WMO,
  47. United Nations (UN)-Water and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2007) Coping with water scarcity: challenge of the twenty-first century. UN-Water and FAO, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. United Nations Environment Program, UNEP (2016) A snapshot of the world’s water quality: towards a global assessment.
  49. Wada Y, de Graaf IEM, van Beek LPH (2016) High-resolution modeling of human and climate impacts on global water resources. J Adv Model Earth Syst 8(2):735–763. Scholar
  50. Westrate J, Dijkstra G, Eshuis J, Gianoli A, Rusca M (2018) The Sustainable Development Goal on Water and Sanitation: Learning from the Millennium Development Goals. Soc Indic Res 143(2):795–810Google Scholar
  51. WMO (2008) Hydrology for water management. WMO Bull 57(3):76.
  52. World Bank (2018) Somalia drought impact & needs assessment. Retrieved on 5 April 2019 at
  53. WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2017) The United Nations world water development report 2016: wastewater. The untapped resource. UNESCO, Paris.UN-Water and FAO. 2007Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya

Section editors and affiliations

  • Vincent Onguso Oeba
    • 1
  1. 1.African Forest Forum, C/o World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)NairobiKenya