Ecosystem services and integrated water resource management: Different paths to the same end?

Brian R. Cook, Christopher J. Spray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The two concepts that presently dominate water resource research and management are the Global Water Partnership's (GWP, 2000) interpretation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and Ecosystem Services (ES) as interpreted by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA, 2005). Both concepts are subject to mounting criticism, with a significant number of critiques focusing on both their conceptual and methodological incompatibility with management and governance, what has come to be known as the 'implementation gap'. Emergent within the ES and IWRM literatures, then, are two parallel debates concerning the gap between conceptualisation and implementation. Our purpose for writing this review is to argue: 1) that IWRM and ES have evolved into nearly identical concepts, 2) that they face the same critical challenge of implementation, and 3) that, if those interested in water research and management are to have a positive impact on the sustainable utilisation of dwindling water resources, they must break the tendency to jump from concept to concept and confront the challenges that arise with implementation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)93-100
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Volume109
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2012

    Keywords

    • Gap
    • RIVER-BASIN
    • Lessons
    • IWRM
    • Implementation
    • SOUTHERN AFRICA
    • Knowledge
    • LESSONS
    • LAND-USE
    • Ecosystem services
    • NATURAL-RESOURCES
    • IMPLEMENTATION
    • ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING
    • SCIENCE
    • CHALLENGES

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