A Lecture on Water Management in the 21st Century for the Developing World

Technological developments and industrial progress have meant that the economies of developed countries are now less dependent on water compared to the situations that prevailed some five decades ago. However, in spite of these developments, water affects the economic, social and environmental conditions of developed countries in numerous ways, some direct but others indirect, some tangible and others intangible. In contrast, the linkages between developing countries and water continue to be strong, primarily because of their continued high dependence on agricultural activities because of food production and employment generation. In addition, developing countries still have not developed their water infrastructures to the same advanced level as developed countries. Accordingly, floods and droughts currently affect developing countries much more than developed countries in economic and social terms, especially in terms of extensive human sufferings. This situation is unlikely to change significantly in the foreseeable future. It is thus essential to objectively and reliably assess the future global, regional and national water scenarios in terms of their social, economic and environmental implications.

By Asit K. Biswas, 2007. 4th Annual Alumni Meet, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Lecture online