At the beginning of the 1990s, water-sector 'development' still meant providing physical infrastructure. Now the emphasis is on an integrated approach — but what is the best (and most cost-effective) way of achieving and managing this sustainably?
The stages through which any development project passes form a 'cycle', traditionally — if not ideally — modelled on the participating agency's perspective. Is there a workable 1990s alternative?
This paper illustrates the complexity of catchment water management and the importance of understanding the context of economic, political and cultural aspects of livelihoods in a catchment. Issues highlighted include the need for institutions which cross resource boundaries, ways of including those stakeholders usually excluded from decision-making processes, and the importance of livelihood constraints on people's participation in resource management.