Water management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources. In an ideal world. water management planning has regard to all the competing demands for water and seeks to allocate water on an equitable basis to satisfy all uses and demands. This is rarely possible in practice.
Water is an essential resource for all life on the planet. Of the water resources on Earth only three per cent of it is not salty and two-thirds of the freshwater is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. Of the remaining one per cent, a fifth is in remote, inaccessible areas and much seasonal rainfall in monsoonal deluges and floods cannot easily be used. At present only about 0.08 per cent of the entire world’s fresh water. is exploited by mankind in ever increasing demand for sanitation, drinking, manufacturing, leisure and agriculture. Much effort in water management is directed at optimising re-use of water and in minimizing the environmental impact of water use on the natural environment.
Successful management of any resources requires accurate knowledge of the resource available, the uses to which it may be put, the competing demands for the resource, measures to and processes to evaluate the significance and worth of competing demands and mechanisms to translate policy decisions into actions on the ground.