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close this bookFAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 52 Reforming water resources policy A guide to methods, processes and practices (1995)
close this folderChapter 3 - Principles
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWater as a scarce resource
View the documentPrinciples for water planning and allocation
View the documentEffectiveness
View the documentEfficiency
View the documentEquity and distributional effects
View the documentPublic health and nutrition
View the documentEnvironmental impact
View the documentFiscal impact
View the documentPolitical and public acceptability
View the documentSustainability
View the documentAdministrative feasibility
View the documentPolicy reform in agriculture
Open this folder and view contentsStrategic choices and trade-offs
View the documentPolicy mix

Principles for water planning and allocation

In the previous section it was argued that recognizing the growing scarcity of water should be an underlying principle in all attempts at reforming this sector. In other words, water should be treated as an economic resource.

However, a number of other criteria - which are often inter-related - come into play in planning and managing water systems, and different countries will place varying emphases on these. They include:

· effectiveness,
· efficiency,
· equity and distributional effects,
· public health and nutrition,
· environmental impact,
· fiscal impact,
· political and public acceptability,
· sustainability, and
· administrative feasibility.

Other criteria may also be relevant in particular circumstances, e.g., impact on food self-sufficiency, regional development, the urban-rural balance, a desire for self-sufficiency in water, etc.

These criteria are briefly discussed below.