121. Water Resources Sector Strategy: Strategic Directions for World Bank Engagement

In 1993 the Board of the World Bank endorsed a Water Resources Management Policy Paper (WRMPP). In that paper, and in this Strategy, water resources management comprises the institutional framework, management instruments, and the development, maintenance, and operation of infrastructure. The 1993 Policy Paper reflected the broad global consensus that was forged during the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. This consensus stated that modern water resources management should be based on three fundamental principles (Dublin Principles). First is the ecological principle: independent management of water by different water-using sectors is not appropriate, the river basin should be the unit of analysis, land and water need to be managed together, and much greater attention needs to be paid to the environment. Second is the institutional principle: water resources management is best done when all stakeholders participate, including the state, the private sector and civil society, women need to be included, and resource management should respect the principle of subsidiarity, with actions taken at the lowest appropriate level. Third is the instrument principle: water is a scarce resource and greater use needs to be made of incentives and economic principles in improving allocation and enhancing quality.


The World Bank. 2004. Water Resources Sector Strategy: Strategic Directions for World Bank Engagement. Water Resources Management Group (WRMG). 88 p.

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