30.04.2019 -

Integrated Water Resources Management as a sustainable policy

Within the framework of the IV Meeting of InterCODIA, the High Level Seminar on Planning and Integrated Management of Water Resources was carried out within the framework of SDG6 (San José, Costa Rica, March 31, 2019). The Seminar was organized by the International Hydrological Program in conjunction with the Conference of Water Directors of Ibero-America (CODIA) with the objective of reflecting on the regional implementation of SDGs 6.5.1 and 6.5.2, particularly in relation to the creation of regulations, and 'establishment of political, social, economic and administrative institutions and other interest groups, in particular at the level of the members of basin committees'.

Within the IV InterCODIA Meeting -in San Jose, Costa Rica-, the Conference of Ibero-American Water Directors, a training course was held for professionals in the water sector focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The SDGs are the goals proposed by the United Nations Organization to be carried out in the year 2030. The SDG that deals with water is SDG 6, and the High Level Seminar focused on SDG 6.5.1 and 6.5.2. So, the seminar specifically observed the implementation of integrated management of water resources and transboundary aquifers.The workshop was attended by 33 participants from the water sector, who were able to share their knowledge and learn about the political and institutional solutions which can be used to manage water resources in an integrated manner.

The Basin Committees are a central concept of the Seminar, an essential element for sustainable governance and integrated management of water resources. Although the conformation of the Committees is different depending on the country, and its members tend to be academics and professionals trained in water resources, the learning and training opportunities are not as extensive as is necessary, and this is where the need to generate a High Level Seminar arises. The Integrated Management of Water Resources (IWRM) is a "dynamic process, with intersectoral social and institutional participation, for the management of water and its interactions with the environment, to ensure its sustainability, minimize negative impacts and obtain maximum environmental benefits, sociocultural and economic ", AquaLAC Magazine Vol.10 N ° 2.

The High Level Seminar was organized in two blocks, which offered presentations as guidance for specific debates. The first session was presented by Professor Dr. Antonio Embid (University of Zaragoza) and addressed the regulatory aspects, and it reflected on how appropriate these regulations are, and how they can be adapted to the Integrated Management of Water Resources (IWRM) . With practical examples from different countries, it was explained how IWRM is implemented, and where it can be improved based on the Technical Guide proposal. Regarding the institutional aspects, session number two dealt with the development of regional basin organizations, and the level of connection with the existing regulatory framework, and the implementation of IWRM. This session was presented by Mario Schreider - Director of the UNESCO Chair of Water and Education for Sustainable Development - Marilia Carvalho - Director of the State System for the Environment and Water Resources (SISEMA) - and Mar Gracia Plana - Sub-Directorate General for Planning and Use Sustainable Water, General Directorate of Water, Spain-. Marilia Carvalho focused on describing the state policy of Minas Gerais and its Basin Committees and the State System of Water Resources, together with the participatory planning strategies implemented for watershed management. On the other hand, Mario Schreider made a presentation entitled 'Exchange of experiences between members of Basin Councils. Lessons learned ', whose focus is on the incremental value of establishing a continuous learning process, in which the product of one activity is necessarily input to the next. At the end of this block, the Water Security, objective of the International Hydrological Program (IHP) in its Phase VIII, was discussed. Within this framework, the Manual for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the adaptation measures based on ecosystems related to Water Security was presented. The presentations of the speakers generated a rich exchange with the participants, on how the different actors can lead to a strengthening of the water policy in the region, and a better management of water basins.

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