With the continuing increase in world population, and rising standard of living, more and more water will be necessary to satisfy basic human needs. The global picture with regard to water use and availability is very uneven, and the policy options for major sectoral uses—rural and urban water supply, agricultural requirements and hydro-electric power generation—are explored. The social and environmental implications of water development are briefly discussed. Finally, the question of the availability of adequate water to sustain future world population and development to the year 2000 is analysed. It is concluded that the major problem in the area of water-resources development is not one of the Malthusian spectre of impending scarcity, but one of instituting rational management practices.
By Asit K. Biswas, 1981. Article published in Journal of Hydrology, Volume 51, Issues 1-4, pages 369-380. DOI: 10.1016/0022-1694(81)90145-1