Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Award

The Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach has been a hallmark of AWRA since its establishment in 1964. The AWRA Policy Statement on Integrated Water Resources Management in the U.S. recommends that water management goals, policies, programs, and plans be organized around the concept. AWRA is committed to helping organizations throughout the nation and the world further the implementation of IWRM to recognize excellence in the use of the IWRM approach, AWRA established an award to recognize outstanding IWRM efforts. 


IWRM planning processes, projects and programs are eligible for the award (and hereafter described as "projects"), though studies, technical papers, and academic research are not. Any consulting, government, nonprofit, or academic organization may submit projects for consideration. The award is presented annually, or at such time as there are qualified nominees. If no suitable projects are received in a given year AWRA reserves the right not to make an award.


This award recognizes outstanding IWRM teamwork on a complex water resources effort. The project chosen for this award will be conducted by a team representing multiple disciplines such as engineering, biophysical science, economics, social science, law, planning, political science, etc. The project team will have developed a common project mission with defined responsibilities, and collaborated to achieve a water resources management objective organized around IWRM principles.

Project should include:
  • Sustainable and community-directed economic goals
  • Restoration and protection of environmental quality as an essential element and goal
  • Advancement and protection of public health and safety
  • Inclusive and robust participation of community members and stakeholders
  • Enhancement of social equity and community values
  • Coordinated and integrated planning, development, protection, and management of water and related resources

Projects should include all or most of the following elements associated with IWRM:
  • Clean water and sanitation as basic human rights
  • Planning for long term sustainability
  • Participatory decision making
  • Sound scientific principles
  • Adaptive management and realistic measurement of results.
  • Improvement of instituional capacity at all levels

Use of the IWRM team approach should have resulted in significant improvements in:
  • Quality and sustainability of solutions
  • Ability to build relationships and create consensus among diverse community members and stakeholders
  • Acceptability, efficiency, and effectiveness of solutions
Not all the aforementioned elements will necessarily be present in any given project. The IWRM Awards committee is interested in rewarding adherence to and implementation of IWRM principles and not simply checking-off the bullet lists above. 

Procedure for Nominations

Credentials of projects for consideration for the award should be submitted to Applications must be submitted electronically as one document and limited to 10 Mb in size to ensure delivery. Inclusions of videos and/or other visuals (PPTs, Prezi, etc.), podcasts, etc., are welcomed and can be made using Dropbox, Google Docs (or other similar site) or links to a WWW site. These items do not count against the 10Mb limit. Applications are due electronically by 11:59 PM Eastern U.S. Time, June 11, 2019. Please call +1 540-687-8390 or email with any questions concerning the submition process.

Material submitted must include:
  • Names and disciplines of team members.
  • A description of the issue/problem that was overcome by the project.
  • How the project used an IWRM approach to solve/address the water resource issue or problem, drawing from the criteria described above
  • External validation, in the form of three endorsement letters from stakeholders or community participants describing the positive value and outcomes of their engagement with the project.
The documentation must be thorough and address the nature of the attributes specified for the award so that the IWRM Award Committee can make valid judgments. AWRA reserves the right to make multiple awards that recognize and celebrate the application of IWRM principles in diverse settings and circumstances to include large, landscape-level settings, communities, small watersheds, etc. 


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