A Clash of Paradigms in the Water Sector? Tensions and Synergies Between Integrated Water Resources Management and the Human Rights- Based Approach to Development

Hugo Tremblay

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    A variety of paradigms shape water resources management, reflecting the evolution of government policies and transient societal values.Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) became a predominant management framework in the 1990s whereas the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to development emerged recently as an influential approach in the water sector. While IWRM and the HRBA overlap significantly, the interactions between these two remain largely unexplored, and their repercussions may be significant. Because IWRM and the HRBA do not share identical premises and objectives, concurrent implementation of the two might also lead to tensions detrimental to water resources management. The purpose of this article is to explore the interactions between IWRM and the HRBA to development in the water sector. Questions raised by perceived conflicts are identified to help address potential tensions when the two approaches coexist. Synergies between IWRM and the HRBA are also detailed to establish how the two approaches are aligned.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-356
    Number of pages50
    JournalNatural Resources Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011



    • Water
    • Human Rights
    • Human Rights-Based Approach to Development (HRBA)
    • Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

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