Newsletter and Technical Publications
Freshwater Management Series No. 5
Guidelines for the Integrated Management of
- Phytotechnology and Ecohydrology -
From the last part of
the Twenty Century it became clear that water is becoming scarcer to the
society due to overexplotation and quality degradation. This pattern has
continued until today resulting in higher risk to human health, economic and social
development as well as for ecosystem functioninig and environmental
Freshwater resources such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs and wetlands are
suffering from various problems amongst them pollution originated from point
and non-point sources; shore erosion and habitat lose due to construction and
other unsustainable human activities and unsustainable practices. To stop and
advert this trend there is a need to develop proper planning and management
approaches within the context of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).
Integrated Water Resource Management as
defined by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) is a process that considers the
co-ordination of development and management of water, land and related
resources to enhance economic and social welfare without jeopardizing the
sustainability of the ecosystem. Ecohydrology together with the application of
Phytotechnologies consider the basic principles of IWRM in the way they are
The concept of Ecohydrology and its scientific foundations have been
developed by UNESCO-IHP whereby through the manipulation of the biota,
landscape and hydrology the possibilities of augmenting the ecosystem
resilience to changes while also augmenting opportunities for interaction.
Phytotechnologies on the other hand, are based on the use of vegetation and
their natural services which complement Ecohydrology as through their
application erosion of shorelines can be reduced, the soil and landscape could
be preserved and recuperated, pollution prevented and controlled as well as the
habitats restored just to mention a few applications.
IETC in its pursue to maintain the quality and quantity of water
resources for urban and ecosystem requirements is very much interested in the
application of Phytotechnologies particularly since they can be considered as
an Environmentally Sound Technology (EST) due to their nature.
Based on the complementarity of Ecohydrology and Phytotechnologies and
similar interests in water resource management by UNEP-DTIE-IETC, UNESCO-IHP
and UNESCO-Regional Bureau for Science in Europe (ROSTE) is that through a
joint effort the present Guidelines for the Integrated Management of the
Watershed have been produced. The objective of the Guidelines is to assist
decision makers, technical experts and scientists alike to manage the watershed
and related water bodies while also at the same time facilitate the better
understanding of the opportunities that the application of Ecohydrology and
Phytotechnologies offer for the purpose.
Also like to acknowledge the University of Łódź and the International
Centre of Ecology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (ICE-PAS) for the effort
towards the production of the present Guidelines for the Integrated Management
of the Watershed.
Water Division UNESCO