Rethinking integrated water resources management: Towards water and food security through adaptive management

Elena López-Gunn, Aziza Akhmouch, Maite M. Aldaya, Virginia Alonso De Linaje, Maureen Ballestero, Manuel Bea, Ricardo Hirata, Julio M. Kuroiwa, Beatriz Mayor, Lorena Perez, Patricia Phumpiu Chang, Christopher Scott, Fermín Villarroya, Pedro Zorrilla-Miras, Pedro Roberto Jacobi, Andrea Suarez, Roberto Constantino Toto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Yet, due to the rapidly changing times we are currently immersed in, the lifespan of concepts and paradigms is also put to the test more qUickly. According to Kuhn (1962), scientific progress is the result of ‘development by accumulation’, i.e. when normal science is interrupted by periods of revolutionary science. The IWRM paradigm is therefore in a state of flux (GWP, 2012; L6pez-Gunn et aI., 2013). This chapter aims to identify new trends and directions, as well as potential changes in its conceptual basis, particularly from fast-emerging complementary concepts such as water security (GWP /TAC, 2000; Grey and Sadoff, 2007; Pochat, 2008; GWP, 2010; Cook and Bakker, 2012; UN Water, 2013) analysed in Chapter 6. Along these lines, are there enough anomalies in the IWRM paradigm to warrant major changes? This chapter will argue that in order to ‘speed up’ the implementation of IWRM it is fundamental to ask new questions about its main tenets. The chapter analyses and evaluates the main ingredients of the IWRM paradigm, looking at a) the integration of resources, b) of sectors and c) across organizations. IWRM acquires real added value once a series of clear and specific policy goals are set, e.g. those provided by water security or the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on water (Sachs, 2012) that in 2015 will effectively replace the merely target-oriented Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWater for Food Security and Well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean
Subtitle of host publicationSocial and Environmental Implications for a Globalized Economy
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9781134682805
ISBN (Print)9780415713689
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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