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3 Examples of Integrated Resource Management Plan

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 3/18/2012

Integrated Resource Management (IRM) is proving to be an innovative method to optimize all available resources to provide effective long term solutions to national and regional problems offering immense benefits. Go through these three examples to get an insight into IRM Plan.

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    Definition of Integrated Resource Management

    Integrated resource management (IRM) is a comprehensive planning process that takes into account all the available resources to ensure that long term sustainable benefits are achieved. IRM brings together all the resource groups that otherwise work separately. The IRM process comprises of creating a planning team, preparing an overview of the project, identifying various issues, taking cognizance of all available resources, setting objectives, evolving strategies and constantly monitoring and implementing the project. Integrated resource management Plans generally coordinate a wide variety of resources including human and all other natural resources. These examples of IRM Plan Projects will help you understand IRM Plan better.

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    Singapore Water Management Project

    On average, Singapore receives 100 inches of rain annually. Singapore Public Utilities Board hired CDM (a consultancy firm with world-wide operations) for managing their water resources. CDM built a complex, low-level dam that has increased water supply, improved the water quality, arrested overflow and provided flood control mechanism.

    The 1,150-foot-long Marina Barrage is designed in a way that the gates normally remain closed to separate the reservoir from the ocean. During extreme monsoon conditions, when the tide is low, they work in harmony to release excess flows from the Marina. Apart from this basic function, the barrage and pumping station also alternate to provide stable water levels for a new 600-acre freshwater reservoir in downtown Singapore.

    The additional facilities created by CDM include a 13-megawatt power station and a two-story interactive tourist center complete with a circular glass theater situated inside a botanical park. The bridge has thus supported economic development, improved the lifestyle of people in the area and provided recreational opportunities in Singapore's urban center.

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    Australian IRM plan for water supply optimization

    The Australian Government had decided to do a project to develop resources to support urban water suppliers to determine the exact quantity of water consumed, the excess water that is presently available and the best ways to provide water for future through more efficient water management and exploration of additional sources of water. The project, commenced in June 2008 and expected to be completed by September 2009, estimated to tentatively cost $700,000 .

    This national project aims to balance water demand and supply while achiveing full social, economical and environmental benefits in a water cycle management. The project is based on an internationally recognised best practice of integrated resource management planning and will be implemented in collaboration with the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). The program will significantly support the National Water Initiative by facilitating optimum water usage, encouraging recycling and better water supply and demand management.

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    IRM and Interface Forestry Program in Allikuli, Tamilnadu, India

    The Interface Forestry Project (IFP) in Allikuli Tamilnadu in India is a multi-faceted project aimed at restoring green environment by regeneration of natural vegetation. Most of the cultivation in the project area is rain dependent. The use of groundwater for irrigation is possible but the changes in land use are posing a threat to aquifer recharge.

    The lack of reliable water supplies has seriously affected agriculture resulting in widespread poverty. The IFP project that began in 1988 has implemented soil and water conservation measures and planted 15 varieties of trees. The natural vegetation is now recovering, and erosion has been largely filled. There is now agreement amongst villagers to halt the abuse of the planted areas. Prosperous days are now ahead for the people living in the area.

    It is very important to understand the difference between management objectives and management methods. The objectives are the end benefits a project is expected to deliver and Integrated Resources Management plans are the innovative methods or means of attaining those objectives. Although the different resources are managed separately, IRM practitioners believe that multiple benefits can be achieved by managing them together.