Policy ForumWater Management

Water Resources Management: What Should Be Integrated?

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Science  08 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6086, pp. 1234-1235
DOI: 10.1126/science.1218230

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Sustainable management of water resources (including provision of safe and reliable supplies for drinking water and irrigation, adequate sanitation, protection of aquatic ecosystems, and flood protection) poses enormous challenges in many parts of the world. Despite the global abundance of water and the mainly renewable character of this resource, it is estimated that one-fifth of the world's population lives under conditions of water scarcity (1). This is primarily the result of the heterogeneous distribution of freshwater in space and time, which is exacerbated by economic disparities, civil unrest, and failures of institutions (2).