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The need for integrated approaches to water resources management and the linking of water management to land use has been stressed in many international and national fore in recent years. Principle 1 of the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development ( ICWE, 1992) reads: "Since water sustains life, effective management of water resources demands a holistic approach, linking social and economic development with protection of natural ecosystems".
This is reflected in the UNCED Agenda 21, Chapter 18: Protection of the Quality and Supply of Freshwater Resources, which calls for integrated water resources management, including the integration of land and water-related aspects to be carried out at the level of the catchment, basin or sub-basin (UNCED, 1992).
Effective management links land and water uses across the whole of a catchment area or groundwater aquifer. This was again stressed in the 1st Session of the Committee on Natural Resources (CNR) 1993, which underlined the importance of a holistic approach to water and land management, integration of water and soil strategies and an initial problem diagnosis for major river basins. The CNR specifically requested the Food and Agriculture Organization to take appropriate steps to develop integrated water-soil-land use management strategies for sustainable development and conservation of the natural resource base.
At the 1993 Technical Consultation on Integrated Rural Water Management, (Proceedings available from FAO), research needs to develop a landscape and river-basin framework- for integrated rural water resources management were recognized. The Consultation recommended that such a framework should take the following into account:
coordination of upstream and downstream aspects of water management;
integration of multiple uses of water including irrigation and drainage, aquaculture and livestock, rural and urban domestic water use, industrial and hydropower water use, flood protection, environmental and health aspects;
conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources; and
integration of water quantity and quality considerations.
It is clear that integrated approaches to water resources management are needed which take into consideration the land and water linkages in a spatial context. However, there is a lack of understanding of the linkages between the hydrological, geomorphological, and pedological processes and the plant nutrition dynamics at landscape level, as well as the implications of soil and water resources conservation and development in whole river-basin environments. The Workshop intended to address the broader issues of water management in the context of land use and the environment, and within the framework of river basin management.
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