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Water Resources Sector Strategy: Strategic Directions for World Bank Engagement

Water Resources Sector Strategy: Strategic Directions for World Bank Engagement

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Many developing countries face daunting water resources challenges as the needs for water supply, irrigation, and hydroelectricity grow; as water becomes more scarce, quality declines, and environmental and social concerns increase; and as the threats posed by goods and droughts are exacerbated by climate change. As a consequence, there is a high and increasing demand for World Bank engagement. Lending for water resources and development accounted for about 16 percent of all World Bank lending over the past decade.

Within the World Bank, business strategies for specific water-using sectors, such as water and sanitation, irrigation and drainage, and hydropower, are determined primarily as part of the strategies for these sectors. Water Resources Sector Strategy: Strategic Directions for World Bank Engagement focuses on how to improve the development and management of water resources while providing the principles that link resource management to the specific water-using sectors.

The Strategy emphasizes the difficult and contentious issues upon which World Bank practice needs to improve and suggests that the main management challenge is not a vision of integrated water resources management but a "pragmatic but principled" approach.