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The concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) is not new: it has been around for over two generations. During the 1990s, this concept was rediscovered by some international institutions, and they have since then promoted it extensively all over the world. There is no question that IWRM has now become a mainstream idea. While it is conceptually attractive, it is still an open question as to what extent it is possible to move from the concept to the implementation phase. It is thus absolutely critical to analyse to what extent IWRM has been applied to improve water management practices and processes at the operational level.
The book answers this question for South and Southeast Asia, based on a series of comprehensive case studies which were prepared by leading authorities from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as for the Mekong River as a whole. The case studies assess the status of application of IWRM in the region, what are the results of such attempts, and identify their successes, failures and constraints.