Sharing water: Defining a common interest

THERE WILL NEVER BE MORE WATER IN THE WORLD than there is right now. It is an endangered resource, essential to the everyday life of people and the planet in a plethora of ways. So many uses, so many demands. How can we accommodate everyone? The answer is simple – in theory, at least: we must share the resource. And in the best of all possible worlds, we would do so in a fair and equitable manner, ensuring that all needs were met. We would ensure that when water is withdrawn, it is also put back – in good condition – for others to use, even if they live in another country, or downstream. In practice, however, things are not so simple. This chapter analyses the issues involved and assesses whether we are making progress in sharing water: the balance sheet is mixed, but there are signs of hope.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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