Water sector policy review and strategy formulation
A general framework

Table of contents

FAO Land and Water Bulletin 3
World Bank UNDP
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, 1995.

The findings, interpretation and conclusions expressed in this paper should not be attributed in any manner to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to the United Nations Development Programme or to the World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or to the members of their Councils or Boards of Executive Directors, or to the countries they represent.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank do not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication, and accept no responsibility whatsoever for any consequences of the use of the data.

The recommendations and conclusions in this document do not necessarily represent the official policy of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, of the United Nations Development Programme or of the World Bank, or of any individual country, and should not be regarded as binding or prescriptive.

Reprinted 1996

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-103714-0

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FAO 1995




Executive summary

Glossary of technical terms and abbreviations used

Part I Background and principles


Special attributes of water
The case for public intervention
The water sector and its outreach
The international debate
Target readership

Problems and principles

Growing water problems: the concept of vulnerability
Water use and management
Agriculture - a key to the problem
Checklist of critical issues
Reasons for policy review
Water as a limited resource
Principles for water planning and allocation
Equity and distributional effects
Public health
Environmental impact
Fiscal impact
Political and public acceptability
Administrative feasibility
Policy reform in agriculture
Strategic choices and trade-offs

Part II Policy review and strategy formulation

Policy review and strategy formulation - the process

Determining the importance of water
Matrix of problems and critical issues
Quantifying pressure on water resources
Identifying options
Objectives of water resources strategy
Formulating water strategy
Defining an action programme and implementation schedule

Part III Strategy formulation - The elements

Formulation of a strategy - the elements

A holistic approach
Categories of actions
Planning and analysis
Legal and institutional reforms
Economic measures
Projects and spending programmes

Institutional and human resources issues

Assessment and institutional analysis
Water rights and legislation
Regulations, administration and enforcement
Organizational arrangements
Human resources development

Stakeholder participation

Definition and benefits of stakeholder participation
Who are stakeholders?
Levels and techniques of participation
Stakeholder participation during strategy formulation

Information systems

Justification and rationale
Elements of a water resources management information system
Improving water resources information systems
The effect of technology on institutions

The role of economics

Applying economic concepts in strategy formulation
Cost recovery
Economic assessment of projects and programmes

Environmental and health considerations

Public health and water resources
Health and environmental issues in assessment of water resources
Water resources assessment: environmental institutions

International issues

International aspects of water resources strategy
International water law
Objectives of collaboration
Accessing the data base
Water sharing and allocation
International river basin organizations

Water strategies in practice

Water policy reviews in practice: country experiences

References cited and bibliography

Appendix 1 Indonesia's draft National Resources Policy Action Plan 1994 - 2020