Integrated water resources management is a systematic process for the sustainable development, allocation and monitoring of water resource use in the context of social, economic and environmental objectives.
At its simplest, integrated water resources management is a logical and intuitively appealing concept. Its basis is that the many different uses of finite water resources are interdependent. That is evident to us all. High irrigation demands and polluted drainage flows from agriculture mean less freshwater for drinking or industrial use; contaminated municipal and industrial wastewater pollutes rivers and threatens ecosystems; if water has to be left in a river to protect fisheries and ecosystems, less can be diverted to grow crops. There are plenty more examples of the basic theme that unregulated use of scarce water resources is wasteful and inherently unsustainable.