Water Pollution Control - A Guide to the Use of Water Quality Management Principles

Introduction During recent years there has been increasing awareness of, and concern about, water pollution all over the world, and new approaches towards achieving sustainable exploitation of water resources have been developed internationally. It is widely agreed that a properly developed policy framework is a key element in the sound management of water resources. A number of possible elements for such policies have been identified, especially during the preparation of Agenda 21 as well as during various follow up activities.  This chapter proposes some general principles for the policy making process and for policy document structure. Some examples of policy elements which support the overall sustainable management of water resources are also given .  Policy framework Policy statements regarding water pollution control can be found within the legislative framework of most countries. However, the statements are often "hidden" in official documents, such as acts of government, regulations, action and master plans. Moreover, government statutes and constitutional documents often include paragraphs about environmental policies. Such statements are rarely coherent, and inconsistencies with other policies often exist because they have been developed separately with different purposes.  Water pollution control is usually specifically addressed in connection with the establishment of environmental legislation and action plans, but also within the framework of water resources management planning. Moreover, documents related to public health aspects may also consider water pollution. These three interacting areas are often administered in different line ministries - typically a Ministry of Environment, a Ministry of Water and a Ministry of Health. In addition, the policy making process, if it exists, may often take place independently. To reach a situation where the adopted political intentions can result in a real impact on the practical management of water resources, it is important to define policy statements clearly and in proper policy documents. It is recommended that the water pollution control policy statements either be placed within a water resources policy document or within an environment policy document, or the statements can form a document in themselves, referring to overall health-water and resources-environment policies. The approach selected will depend on the administrative organisation of water resources and environmental management in a particular country
Source : ASDMA

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