A forward-looking book on water is the need of the hour for more than one reason. First and foremost, generation after generation grew up with little thought about considering water as a scarce resource—any scarcity being a temporary phenomenon and punishment meted out by Mother Nature. Second, historically, planning for economic and social development, while taking explicit notice of the growing demand for water for agriculture, industry, energy, services and households, did not really project the centrality of water to development. Third, one never wastes medicine or food; but most people do not routinely think of conserving water. Finally, increasing amounts of wastewater and the problems associated with its disposal pose a formidable challenge to professionals and policy makers in the water sector.
Therefore, it is laudable that the International Centre of Water and Environment of the Government of Aragon, in association with a number of other agencies, has taken the initiative to bring together, in late 2006, experts on water issues, population, development, economics, agriculture, energy, health and technology, for a workshop on the theme of Water Management Beyond 2020. The 13 papers deliberated at the workshop are presented in the volume under review.
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