In the area of water resources, the dominant trends of the decades of the 1970s and 1980s were on development of infrastructure. During the early 1990s, the focus shifted to the management of water resources, still largely along sectoral lines. By the end of the decade, the concept of integrated water resources management encompassing a multi-sectoral approach and a wider range of social and environmental issues became the main trend. It was recognised that many of the activities related to a broader approach of water resources management had little to gain from a paradigm which focused mainly on the construction of water infrastructures. The new policies were expected to take into consideration social, environmental and economic aspects that would result into more effective regulations, incentives, investment plans and environmental protection.
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