This publication was prepared as a follow up to FAO's commitment to integrated water management within the framework of sustainable development and food security. This framework was strengthened following the United Conference on Environment and Development, 1992, and links with other water programmes of United Nations specialized agencies such as UNEP, WHO and the GEMS/Water Programme.
The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of many professionals of FAO for their inspiration and cooperation in developing the framework and locating references. In particular, the wise counsel of Drs Arumugam Kandiah, Hans Wolter and Robert Brinkman of the Land and Water Development Division, is much appreciated. Dr Desmond Walling of the University Exeter, graciously reviewed the draft manuscript and provided useful comment and suggestions for improvement. Much appreciation is extended to the many others within FAO and from other agencies who also reviewed the manuscript. Thanks are also due to Mr J.G. Kamphuis for reviewing and editing the document and Ms C. Redfern for formatting and preparing the text for final printing.
The sections on data issues and integrated basin management are largely drawn from experiences gained through the author's participation in the UNEP/WHO GEMS/Water Programme in many developing countries. Material on environmental information systems reflects the author's long association with Dr David Lam and his staff at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters and Dr David Swain of the University of Guelph.