Table 1. Working definitions of integrated water resources management (IWRM) and adaptive management (AM).

Working Definitions
IWRM “A process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.” Global Water Partnership,

It is based on the Dublin Principles, stating that: “1) freshwater is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the environment; 2) water development and management should be based on a participatory approach involving users, planners and policy makers at all levels; 3) women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water; 4) water is a public good and has a social and economic value in all its competing uses; and 5) integrated water resources management is based on the equitable and efficient management and sustainable use of water.” Global Water Partnership,
AM “Seeks to aggressively use management intervention as a tool to strategically probe the functioning of [a system]. Interventions are designed to test key hypotheses about the functioning of the [system]...[it] identifies uncertainties, and then establishes methodologies to test hypotheses concerning those uncertainties. It uses management as a tool not only to change the system, but as a tool to learn about the system...The achievement of these objectives requires an open management process which seeks to include past, present, and future stakeholders. Adaptive management needs to at least maintain political openness, but usually it needs to create it. Consequently, adaptive management must be a social as well as scientific process...”
Resilience Alliance,