IWRM versus Nexus, what do you think?

CGIAR Blog about IWRM versus Nexus

Business as usual in water management will not provide adequate water security, upon which our global economy relies ever more heavily. And part of the business as usual that needs to be shaken up is the process-based integrated water resource management (IWRM) that has dominated discourse on water management over the past 20 years.

That is now happening.

Business leaders have watched with growing alarm as developing economies ground to a halt because of power shortages - while mobilization of abundant hydropower resources was bogged down by interminable "consultation" processes. They saw the damage that was being done to vulnerable farming communities whose lack of access to reliable water supplies to complement uncertain rainfall meant that their production and their incomes were as fickle as the weather.

Slide by Mike MullerThe Nexus does not help to address critical issues such as nature. How can hydropower dams be designed to support environmental flows if nature is not a key objective? Slide by Mike Muller.

As business people, they recognized that, while process is important, outcomes are what matters and the mantra of IWRM was not delivering. That's why the World Economic Forum launched theNexus conceptin 2008.

And if there were any doubters, events like the 2011 Thailand floods (which cost an estimated US$45.7 billion in economic damages and losses, making it thefourth costliest disasterin history) have helped to keep water security high on the agenda.

IWRM vs Nexus Approach: important lessons