UNESCO-IHP and GEF IW:LEARN publication on Conjunctive Water Management now available

08 Dec 2020 | by
Sea water, atmospheric water, ice and snow cover, surface water, groundwater, soil water, water in the human water use chain and wastewater are all interconnected within the hydrological cycle. Water development planners and water resources managers should be aware of this and take it fully into account.

Unfortunately, this is often not (or not yet) the case. In practice, fragmented approaches to water resources development and management prevail, in which water resources professionals tend to focus on one single water cycle component and overlook interactions with the other ones, or opportunities offered by these. This attitude – sometimes called ‘hydroschizophrenia’ – can be corrected by embracing the Conjunctive Water Management paradigm.

In the framework of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), and the GEF IW-Learn 4 project a number of meetings attended by water sector professionals were organized in order to explore and discuss Conjunctive Water Management. This document intends to be an introduction to Conjunctive Water Management, with the general purpose to make the reader familiar with the concept and the specific purpose to provide guidance to water resources policy makers and planners. It starts off with defining Conjunctive Water Management, and then addresses successively the following subjects: how to put this paradigm into practice; potential benefits; governance provisions needed or desired; state of affairs of the implementation at field level; and, finally, recommendations and priorities for scaling-up.

The publication will be also a support material for the UNESCO-UNDP-GEF project on ‘Fostering multi-country cooperation over Conjunctive Surface and Groundwater Management in the Bug and Neman Transboundary River Basins and the underlying aquifer system'.