Preparing national plans for water resource protection and conservation


Water resources should be managed so that the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. National plans should pursue the aims of: (a) Providing access to drinking water for everyone; (b) Provision of sanitation for everyone within a framework of integrated water-management systems aimed at sustainable use of water resources, ambient water quality which does not endanger human health, and protection of the water ecosystems.

Water resources include: (a) Surface freshwater; (b) Groundwater; (c) Estuaries; (d) Coastal waters which are used for recreation or for the production of fish by aquaculture or for the production or harvesting of shellfish; (e) Enclosed waters generally available for bathing; (f) Water in the course of abstraction, transport, treatment or supply; (g) Waste water throughout the course of collection, transport, treatment and discharge or reuse.

"Water-management plan" means a plan for the development, management, protection and/or use of the water within a territorial area or groundwater aquifer, including the protection of the associated ecosystems.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Article 4(2) of the Draft Protocol on Water and Health (1999) to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (1992), states: The Parties shall, in particular, take all appropriate measures for the purpose of ensuring: (a) Adequate supplies of wholesome drinking water which is free from any micro-organisms, parasites and substances which, owing to their numbers or concentration, constitute a potential danger to human health. This shall include the protection of water resources which are used as sources of drinking water, treatment of water and the establishment, improvement and maintenance of collective systems; (b) Adequate sanitation of a standard which sufficiently protects human health and the environment. This shall in particular be done through the establishment, improvement and maintenance of collective systems; (c) Effective protection of water resources used as sources of drinking water, and their related water ecosystems, from pollution from other causes, including agriculture, industry and other discharges and emissions of hazardous substances. This shall aim at the effective reduction and elimination of discharges and emissions of substances judged to be hazardous to human health and water ecosystems; (d) Sufficient safeguards for human health against water-related disease arising from the use of water for recreational purposes, from the use of water for aquaculture, from the water in which shellfish are produced or from which they are harvested, from the use of waste water for irrigation or from the use of sewage sludge in agriculture or aquaculture; (e) Effective systems for monitoring situations likely to result in outbreaks or incidents of water-related disease and for responding to such outbreaks and incidents and to the risk of them.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 15: Life on Land