Linking ecohydrology and integrated water resources management: institutional challenges for water management in the Pangani Basin, Tanzania

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Elsevier Sp. z o.o.


Linking integrated water resources management (IWRM) and Ecohydrology for the sustainance of watersheds and environmentally friendly economic activities is vital for ensuring continued water flow and a steady supply of watershed services for societal needs, and the integrity of aquatic vegetation and animal species. However, regardless of the reforms in water policy and the Water Resources Development Programme and Water Resources Management Act to include provisions for IWRM, Tanzania is still facing several institutional challenges in the practical implementation of IWRM. This study aimed at exploring the potentials and constraints for integrating Ecohydrology and IWRM to develop an integrated institutional framework for providing a sustainable flow of ecosystem services for societal needs along the Pangani River Basin (PRB) in Tanzania. The data was collected through socio-economic methods including questionnaires, surveys, structured and semi-structured interviews and a documentary review of secondary information. Logistic regression models were performed to analyse factors influencing watershed management integration. Logistic regression results showed that watershed management integration was significantly (p < 0.001) constrained by poor inter-sectoral coordination at field level, diverging interests of watershed stakeholders, incompatibility between formal and informal institutions, poor highland-lowland integration, develop- ment interventions, population pressure, inadequate political support and migration. This, together with power imbalances and the uncoordinated interests of multi-stakeholders, predispose the PRB’s watersheds to unsustainable management. This state of affairs will continue to hamper national aspirations to effectively implement IWRM along the PRB. Successful IWRM implementation would allow the country to meet its obligations towards sustainable watershed management. It is recommended that an integrated institutional framework capable of integrating upstream and downstream communities be developed.


Journal of Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology, 18 (2018) 174–191


Ecohydrology practices, Watershed services, Sustainable forest management, Integrated watershed management, Societal challenges, Participatory management