While it is now widely accepted that the harnessing of water resources can make a major contribution to economic progress in various parts of the world, there is also increasing concern about the adverse environmental effects that such development may produce. Reviewing experiences in several countries, however, it seems that it may be possible to reconcile the management of water resources and the maintenance of environmental integrity. The paper assesses the likelihood of a re- conciliation taking place in the light of a number of trends in contemporary water management While many of these trends are in the direction of harmonious development, the pace of accommodation has typically been slow and erratic. The authors offer some suggestions as to how this might be overcome through modifications in legislation, policies, procedures and administrative structures.
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