Social equity is one of the three pillars of IWRM, along with economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. Although the social context is very important it often receives less attention in practice than it should. The most vulnerable users are poor farmers who collectively use more water than other sectors and are most dependent on this water for their livelihoods.
The document provides an overview of how the interests of users can be incorporated in water management, through participatory processes at the local level, and with representation of at river basin level. It is essential that this process should be mainstreamed by water managers e.g. those within the water affairs bureaus, and not an add-on to be addressed incidentally by external groups such as social researchers.
WRDMAP. IWRM, Irrigation and their Social Context [Thematic Paper 6.3.1]. WRDMAP, China (2010) 44 pp