Water Management and StewardshipWater Management and Stewardship: Taking stock of Corporate Water Behaviour

Companies are increasingly encountering disruption to their operations due to problems of water supply, as well as floods. Multinationals in sectors that use substantial amounts of water may now expect to encounter water supply difficulties in their operations and supply-chains. In this context, companies are called upon to improve their management of water including adotion of standards of 'water stewardship' for responsible water management respecting shared use of water between water users in catchments and river basins, beyond just individual use. The evidence gathered by this study suggests, however, that there has been little evolution, to-date, from busines-as-usual. 

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Water in Drylands

Water in drylands: Adapting to scarcity through integrated management

Drylands are regions of water scarcity. However many of the assumptions we commonly make about drylands turn out to be unfounded. This study presents some lessons from a selection of IUCN interventions in dryland areas that have adapted to a greater or lesser extent to the conditions of drylands, notably focusing on water management to deal with scarcity and variability. The study is intended as a means of capturing lessons learned from these interventions on the challenges and opportunities for improving water development in drylands. It is primarily a learning document compiled by the IUCN Secretariat, with technical advice from the Drylands Ecosystems Thematic Group of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management. 

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Integrated Water Resource Management: A new way forwardIntegrated Water Resource Management: A new way forward

Expectations for water resources management have been transformed over the last century. The engineer’s hydraulic mission has been replaced by the mission of Integrated Water Resources Management. IWRM sets out to reconcile multiple, competing uses for water, with legitimacy attained through public participation, and with coordination and technical competence assured through specialised basin entities or agencies where they exist. Yet, still problems in water resource management accumulate faster than they are resolved.

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Green infrastructure - Guide for water managementGreen infrastructure - Guide for water management

Ecosystem-based management approaches for water-related infrastructure projects.

Green Infrastructure (GI) is becoming increasingly recognized as an important opportunity for addressing the complex challenges of water management.The GI approach refers to the natural or semi-natural systems that provide services for water resources management with equivalent or similar benefits to conventional (built) "grey" water infrastructure. The illustrative case studies in this guide provide examples of GI options that address water management challenges, while delivering a number of significant co-benefits.

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Food Security: making the ecosystem connectionsFood Security: making the ecosystem connections

Food security policy-makers in developing countries have much to gain from integrating ecosystem management and good ecosystem governance into their policy measures, and collaborating with other sectoral policy-making initiatives to ensure they consistently support food security. Effective policies also address the social aspects of the ecosystem connections to food security by strengthening, for example, land tenure, access rights to natural resources, local organizations, and gender equality.

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Framing Paper: Water for Nature, Nature for WaterFraming Paper: Water for Nature, Nature for Water

Water for Nature, Nature for Water

The IUCN 'Water for Nature, Nature for Water' Framing Paper was submitted to guide the consultation process on water management of the UN led Post 2015 'The World We Want' initiative.


Practical guidelines for establishing a Community Environment Conservation FundPractical guidelines for establishing a Community Environment Conservation Fund

The 'Practical guidelines for establishing a Community Environment Conservation Fund as a tool to catalyse social and ecological resilience' has been developed based on practical lessons learnt from the Building Drought Resilience through Land and Water Management (BDR) project. BDR is a three year (2012-2014) project being implemented around the lower Tana River in Kenya and around the upper Aswa River in Uganda. The project is implementing IUCN’s Resilience Framework to climate variability and change, and is funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation.

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The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and WetlandsThe Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands

Wetlands are essential in providing water-related ecosystem services, such as clean water for drinking, water for agriculture, cooling water for the energy sector and regulating water quantity (e.g. flood regulation).

The “nexus” between water, food and energy is one of the most fundamental relationships and challenges for society. The importance of this nexus was reemphasised at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. The outcome document adopted at Rio+20 “The Future We Want” noted: “We recognize the key role that ecosystems play in maintaining water quantity and quality and support actions within respective national boundaries to protect and sustainably manage these ecosystems” UNCSD (2012, para 122). Wetlands are a fundamental part of local and global water cycles and are at the heart of this nexus. We also expect wetlands to be key to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Putting Nature in the Nexus: Investing in Natural Infrastructure to Advance Water-Energy- Food SecurityPutting Nature in the Nexus: Investing in Natural Infrastructure to Advance Water-Energy- Food Security

Nature is the unseen dimension of the nexus. With its functions integral to the three securities and their inter-dependence, nature is part of the infrastructure needed to manage the nexus and its resilience.

Nature helps mediate the nexus links, by storing, moving, cleaning and buffering flows of water, making drought and flood less severe, and food and energy production more reliable.

Without healthy ecosystems in well-functioning watersheds, the infrastructure built for irrigation, hydropower or municipal water supply does not function sustainably, and is unlikely to achieve the economic returns necessary to justify investments.

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Water for Business: Initiatives guiding sustainable water management in the private sectorWater for Business: Initiatives guiding sustainable water management in the private sector

Initiatives guiding sustainable water management in the private sector

Water for Business is a guide specifically designed for businesses to help them identify water tools and initiatives most suitable for their needs and environmental sustainability. It was released in August 2012, by WBCSD, IUCN, and SustainAbility.

The guide, which is available online, will help businesses to use water more effectively and support their efforts in adopting more sustainable solutions in partnership with other stakeholders.

The guide outlines the benefits of the different tools available, illustrates how a combination of complementary tools can best meet wide ranging needs, and helps businesses to manage the complexity of water-related challenges.


Water Vision to Action: Catalyzing Change through the IUCN Water and Nature InitiativeWater Vision to Action: Catalyzing Change through the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative

In 2000, the World Water Vision, based on recognition that water is the basis for all living ecosystems, envisioned a world in which adequate water is provided to meet basic human needs in an equitable manner and in harmony with nature.

The Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) was IUCN’s response to the global agenda on water and development and the call to move from vision to action. The overall goal was 'Mainstreaming of an ecosystem approach into catchment policies, planning and management'. The  report contains the main results of over 10 years of implementing the Water and Nature Initiative.

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Sharing the waterSharing the water, sharing the benefits: Lessons from six large dams in West Africa

West African countries are planning to construct new large dams in order to meet their energy and water needs and to promote food security against an uncertain backdrop of climate change. If these new dams are to iffer development opportunities for all and avoid social conflict over land and water management, then lessons need to be learned from past projects. This document examines the experiences of six dams built in West Africa between the late 1970s and late 1990s: the Niandouba and Confluent in Senegal, the Sélingué in Mali, and the Bagré, Kompienga and Moussodougou dams in Burkina Faso. 

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Environment as Infrastructure - Resilience to climate change impacts on water through investments in natureEnvironment as Infrastructure - Resilience to climate change impacts on water through investments in nature

Impacts of climate change, in combination with other drivers of global change, are compromising our ability to address global economic, security and social priorities

As floods, drought and other impacts of climate change on water become more frequent or intense, economies and livelihood security will weaken. Adapting to such impacts by building resilience is integral to addressing these global priorities. As water is at the centre of climate change impacts, this demands a focus on resilience to impacts on water. The environment has a critical role in building resilience to climate change and reducing vulnerabilities in communities and economies. Well-functioning watersheds and intact floodplains and coasts provide water storage, flood control and coastal defence. They are ‘natural infrastructure’ for adaptation.

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Securing Water for Ecosystems and Human Well-being: The Importance of Environmental FlowsSecuring Water for Ecosystems and Human Well-being: The Importance of Environmental Flows

This report represents a joint effort between a number of organisations and individuals working at the forefront of research, training, and implementation of environmental flows. The collective goal is to illuminate the role of environmental flows in simultaneously improving human well-being and sustaining vital ecosystems. The reader will come to understand environmental flows as essential to meetingwater management challenges faced today and into the future, including adaptation to climate change.

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