Third World Centre for Water Management

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Major Water Problems Facing the World

Water has become an increasingly important ingredient in the development process of all countries. Not only is safe drinking water essential for our well-being, but water is also a primary requisite for further agricultural, industrial and energy-related developments. Based on existing studies, four major water problems facing the world today are identified. These are the provision of safe drinking water; water requirements for further agricultural, hydroelectric and industrial developments; sustainability of water development projects; and development of water resources shared by two or more states. Both the magnitude and nature of the problem areas are discussed. Four major strategic considerations, as they relate to the priority areas identified, are outlined. These include consideration of the multidimensionality of the problem; promotion of the efficient use of water; encouragement of better management of water resources systems; and application of research results to solve real-world problems.

Asit K. Biswas, 1983, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 1-14
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