A participatory and integrated planning procedure for decision making in water resource systems
This chapter presents a participatory and integrated planning procedure for decision making in water resource systems. In many parts of the world, water demand is increasing, while at the same time, availability and quality of water resources are decreasing, mainly due to human activities, in connection with the growing world population, ongoing urbanization, industrialization, and the intensification of agriculture. This development is often associated with general reductions in environmental quality and endangers sustainable development. An integrated approach is required to identify and analyze such unfavorable and undesired developments, and to allow sustainable systems to be designed that integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both. It is known that integrated water resources management (IWRM) plays a crucial role in this context, and that a participatory approach would help to better control and accelerate the integration, to make the decision-making process more transparent and comparable across various river basins and scales, and to increase confidence in an integrated model-based planning process. The development of proper legislation and policy is a key-issue to disseminate integration and participation into the water management practice.