IWRM takes inspiration from the principles adopted at the Dublin and Rio conferences:
- Principle 1: Freshwater is a limited and vulnerable resource, indispensable to the sustenance of life, development and the environment.
- Principle 2: Water development and management must be based on a participatory approach with the involvement of users, planners and political decision-makers at all levels
- Principle 3: Women play a dominant role in the provision, management and preservation of water
- Principle 4: Water has an economic value in all its competitive uses and must be recognised as an economic good.