7. Conclusions on water resources
A number of key messages emerge from the foregoing discussion
of water resources. Demand for these limited resources continues
to increase as populations grow and move. Sound management
depends on reliable information about the quantity and quality
of water available and how this availability varies in time and
from place to place. It is important to enhance the
understanding of all elements of the
and how human activities affect it, so that water resources can
be protected and developed
- Climate change
greatly affects weather, precipitation, and the entire
including water resources both above and below ground.
- The growing problem of surface water availability and
the increasing levels of water pollution and water
diversions threaten to hamper or even disrupt social and
economic development in many areas, as well as the health of
resources can help meet demand, but too much of it is being
withdrawn and some of it is being polluted. It is important
to better control the use of
underground water that
will not be replenished.
- Longstanding practices, such as collecting rainwater,
are being refined and supplemented by newer techniques such
as artificial recharge, desalination and re-use. More
support is needed, not only for innovative technical
solutions to improve supplies, but also for the management
of demand and the promotion of efficiency in water use.
- Growing changes in the availability of water resources
will require political support for the collection of
information on water resources. That information will allow
policy-makers to make better decisions about the management
and use of water.