Policy ForumEcology

Managing Water for People and Nature

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Science  11 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5519, pp. 1071-1072
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058821

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Growing water scarcity and rapid declines in aquatic biodiversity indicate water policies are failing to protect life's most vital resource. A major reason for growing water scarcity and freshwater ecosystem decline is that water is undervalued the world over. In this Policy Forum, the authors recommend equitable market-oriented mechanisms, including realistic pricing, integrating watershed protection costs into water prices, and charging polluters for their effluents. Science plays an essential role in providing information needed to make these mechanisms work effectively.