While predicting the future is an extremely hazardous business, one item can be predicted with complete certainty: the world in the year 2030 will be vastly different from what it is today. The changes that we are likely to witness during the next 25 years will probably be far-ranging and far-reaching, and these changes will certainly be several orders of magnitude higher and more complex than what we have witnessed during the past 25 years. Among the main driving forces that are likely to contribute to these changes are rapidly evolving demographic conditions, concurrent urbanization and ruralisation in developing countries, rapid technological advances, the speed, extent and impacts of globalization, improvements in human capital, governance and functioning of institutions, formulation and implementation of effective national and intergovernmental policies, and advances in human expectations and knowledge due to accelerating information and the communications revolution.
The water sector is an integral component of the global system, and it will most certainly undergo major changes during the next 25 years. In fact, water management practices and processes are likely to experience more changes during the next 20 years than has occurred during the past 2000 years. Many of these new developments will be driven by changes stemming from non-water sectors, on which the water profession will have no, or at best limited, control or say.
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