IWRM and developing countries: Implementation challenges in Ghana

J.B. Agyenim, J. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Since 1990, there has been growing theoretical consensus on the need for integrated water resource management. At the same time, there is growing empirical evidence that challenges the scientific consensus and the practical implications of implementing IWRM in the developed and the developing countries, although the nature of the implementation challenges may differ in the different contexts. Against this background, this paper investigates into the nature of the empirical challenges to implementing integrated water resource management in Ghana. It describes the actual implementation process and contrasts eleven elements of the substantive content of IWRM with the implementation practice in Ghana. The paper then concludes that Ghana, like other developing countries often adopts such paradigm shifts in the management of their water resources primarily as a result of exogenous pressures (and to a limited extent endogenous factors) but that (a) lack of domestic ownership and leadership of the concept, (b) limited resources, and (c) institutional mis-matches, often results in an implementation of the ideas that is limited to implementation in form rather than practice. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-57
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part A: Solid Earth and Geodesy
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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