Water balance: achieving sustainable development through a water assessment and management plan

Water availability has a tremendous impact on water resources development and socioeconomic sustainability, particularly in arid and semiarid areas. A thorough assessment of water availability and demand is essential in preparing any water resources development and management plan. In fact, if water is to be managed in a sustainable way planners and managers must know how much there is and how much of it is needed, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. This report provides the guidance, methods, data, and analyses needed to assess water availability and needs in micro watersheds. It shows how to prepare short-, medium-, and long-term water investment and management plans on the basis of volume of surface and groundwater within a watershed and the needs of agriculture, people, and livestock. It also offers a practical approach based on real-life assessments that have helped planners decide on investments to develop and manage water.