Managing water quality is more complex than quantity

Asit Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada | Asian Water, 2011, Volume 27, Number 4, pages 18-22

The water crisis has captured the attention of the media and a good section of the general public, as well as water professionals. Fortunately, scientific analyses of all the available data indicate that the world is not facing a crisis because of physical scarcities of water. However, it is indeed facing a crisis because of continued poor management of its water resources.

From the US to the UAE, and in the entire continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America, water management practices and processes leave much to be desired and can be improved significantly. If this can be achieved, the world’s water needs for all activities can be successfully met on a long-term basis. We already have enough knowledge, technology, management expertise and capacity to ensure that water crisis can be significantly improved. However, continuation of the current business-as-usual management practices will undoubtedly give rise to serious water problems in different parts of the world. Implementation of new, innovative and business unusual practices, which are already known and are being used in some areas, can ensure that the world will not face a water crisis in the foreseeable future.

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