Travel & Tourism Published November 2009 It is clear that there is a strong momentum in the international community to recognize the importance of water management in the wider management of poverty reduction and sustainable development.
International cooperation will be a key to success. Need for more integrated approaches, stronger partnerships and more effective focus on poverty reduction, and sustainable development in policy processes.
Boom in tourism has multiple impacts. There are undoubtebly economic benefits at a national level due to the increased revenue available, but tourism requires the use of disproportionate shares of local natural resources, of which WATER is often the most crucial. Much of this water, when use, is disposed of without adequate treatment in ways that impact irrevocably on the surrounding water resources and their ecosystems.
Tourism is vital to the economic well-being and the reduction of poverty in many developing countries.
Since natural resources are a powerful part of the attraction of this industry, it provides added incentive for resource preservation. In many cases though, tourism leaves an undeniable ecological footprint. Countries that depend on tourism are making major efforts to simultaneously maintain their tourism industries and reduce the environmental impact (including water use) of the industry.
Recreation is a major use of and a major issue in the planning of water resources in all parts of the world. The use of beaches, lakes and reservoirs for sailing, fishing and water skiing is an important consideration even in the prosperous countries of Europe and North America. It can add significant economic benefits to these resources, but also has implications on water quality in ecological terms.
Goals of this Initiative
Meeting the basic needs; recognizing that access to safe and sufficient water and sanitation are the basic human needs and are essential to health and well-being.
Securing the water and food supply; enhancing water and food security, particularly of the poor and vulnerable, through more efficient mobilization and use of water and the more equitable allocation of water for food production.
Protecting ecosystems; ensuring the integrity of ecosystems through sustainable water resources management.
Managing risks; promoting security from floods, droughts, pollution and other water-related hazards.
Sharing water resources; promoting peaceful cooperation and developing synergies between different uses of water at all levels, whereever possible, within and - in the case of boundary and trans-boundary water resources - between concerned states, through sustainable river basin management or other appropriate approaches.
Valuing Water; managing water in a way that reflects its economic, social, environmental and cultural values in all uses, with a move towards pricing water services to reflect the cost of their provision. This approach should account for the need for equity and the basic needs of the poor and the vulnerable.
Governing Water wisely; ensuring water governance, so that the involvement of the public and the interests of all stakeholders are included in the management of water resources.