Manual: Human Rights-Based Approach to Integrated Water Resources Management

This manual, written by UNDP CAP-Net, REDICA, the Water Governance Facility, and WaterLex, introduces human rights and IWRM to the reader, progressively integrating them into a single approach that has been dubbed a ‘human rights-based approach (HRBA) to integrated water resources management’ or, in short, an ‘HRBA to IWRM’. (Please note this manual version is not yet final, hence the title includes “Draft”).

The introductory chapter covers IWRM, Human rights, HRBA, Water governance, and Customary law. Chapter 2 focuses on IWRM, providing some historical background to the concept, examining the definition and providing commentary to the definition in terms of how the concept has been applied in practice. Chapter 3 does the same for the HRBA, looking in detail at its origins, how it is applied and its strengths and weaknesses. Chapter 4 turns to water governance, asking what are ‘good water governance’ normative principles and what are the various dimensions of water governance.

After this overview of the elements that need to be combined in an HRBA to IWRM, Chapter 5 looks first at the distinction between water rights and the right to water as the basic operating framework for this approach. Chapter 5 also deals with customary law and legal pluralism and how this relates to IWRM. Chapter 6 looks at the human right to water and sanitation, highlighting the linkages between this right and the way in which IWRM can support its realization. Chapter 6 then turns to the practical aspects of the manual, presenting a way in which an HRBA to IWRM can be approached in practice by linking the implementation cycle for IWRM to that of human rights. Finally, Chapter 8 presents a range of tools that may be useful for facilitators of this manual in their training sessions.

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