This report discusses the evolution of the concept of a river basin in order to give a more politicised view of integrated water management. The paper argues that the river basin has been associated with various strands of thinking and sometimes co-opted or mobilised by particular groups to strengthen the legitimacy of their agenda. The author argues that the river basin is a political and ideological construct where the environment and political/administrative systems meet. This report discusses the following:a review of early conceptions of the river basinthe era of large-scale infrastructural development, when the river basin came to be seen as the logical unit to optimise, or "unify" the multiple uses of surface water, and then as a planning unit for regional developmentthe conceptualisation of the river basin that has emerged during the last three decades in response to both the environmental degradation wrought by structural developments and by the increasing complexity of human-environment interactions.

Publication date
Type of publication
Community based
Disaster risk reduction
CTCN Keyword Matches
Mitigation in the pulp and paper industry
River restoration
Water resource assessment