The concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has attracted particular attention following the international conferences on water and environmental issues in Dublin and Rio de Janeiro held during 1992, and it was emphasized that IWRM is a necessary criterion for sustainable development.

The Third Annual Consultative Group Meeting of the Global Water Partnership in 1998 in Stockholm raised the issue of flood management. This sectoral gap in relation to IWRM was studied and recommendations were submitted to the Technical Advisory Committee which endorsed a flood initiative as a part of the GWP’s future activities. In 2000, WMO presented the initial project proposal which later led to the recommendation that WMO takes the lead in bringing together those concerned and acts as the network manager for the associated programme. The proposal for the establishment of the Associated Programme on Flood Management was endorsed by GWP’s Technical Advisory Committee in November 2000.

In August 2001, the Associated Programme on Flood Management was jointly founded by the World Meteorological Organization and the Global Water Partnership promoting the concept of Integrated Flood Management as a new approach to flood management.