Author(s): Philippe Gourbesville
Linked Author(s): Philippe Gourbesville
Keywords: Education; Training; Decision makers; Institutional context; Bankable project; River basin organizations; International networks; Qualification acquisition; Water resources; Water uses; Masterplans; User-polluter-pays; Democratic process; Civil society; Decision support system; Rules
Abstract: Today the main challenges in water management are not derived from hydrodynamic problems but correspond to global water management and the means to harmonize the different uses. To be efficient, a sustainable approach expressed in the concept of integrated management should be introduced and followed. The institutional context refers to the question of who is responsible for what. Process management is a game which aims at reaching a consensus between the different parties and policy development and implementation. This result is obtained by structuring the decision-making processes and by promoting a real co-operation between the institutional bodies and the users. Due to the complexity of the problems and situations, water management is now the meeting point of many sciences and techniques which associate and combine technical and socio-economic demands. With this new approach, the public and specially the decision makers are confronted with the multiplication of the results and with the difficulty of understanding all the aspects of a project. In a favorable institutional context, water resources management must now integrate criteria of sustainability and new ecological values. Both require more information, which, in turn, highlights additional new risk and uncertainty. The decision makers must be able to obtain this information, to understand and to play an efficient role in decision processes. The deep understanding of integrated water management and the agreement with the collaborative process are the most sensitive points which also determine the possibilities of meeting the public demand, answering to their needs, and developing and extending institutional and financial structures which are necessary to promote the sustainability concept.