Management of knowledge starts with sharing best practices

Danka Thalmeinerova

Short Communications


To bring about change, people need knowledge to understand the state of water resources and the tools needed to sustainably develop and manage them. Knowledge can stimulate behavioral change towards a new water culture where the collaboration spans beyond water sector. On the surface, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) seems easily understood and it is being embraced by many stakeholders as it is a concept that is hard to disagree with. It is like many other complementary definitions used in the search for social justice and better living conditions for all, such as the fight against poverty and promotion of gender quality. It has been nearly 20 years since we, Global Water Partnership, have been working closely with our continually expanding partners and networks to harness, capture and share relevant knowledge, engaging stakeholders at all levels towards putting that knowledge to better use and in a sustainable fashion. Today, we acknowledge that there is sufficient knowledge on IWRM. What is yet insufficient is the implementation of IWRM. It needs to be recognized that the disciplinary biases exist. Governments seek short and fast solutions. For example, if there is a water problem, water engineers are called to prescribe pipes. Water lawyers are requested to set up rigid regulations. Water economists encourage to correct prices, and the academia trust to a proven scientific evidence supported by clear definitions. Interdisciplinary and integrated approaches are, however, not obvious, especiallysince many interests and sectors are involved in water business. Two sectors are heavily dependent on water availability –food and energy. And still, these sectors only rarely get together in policy and decision making. We need to investigate the natureand scale of interdependencies between water, food, and energy.

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best practices, Central Asia, iwrm, knowledge