The objective of the paper is to review the secrets and multiple-faces of water, discussing some of the important approaches of water management. It is pointed out, that the several problems stem from the structure of the water molecule and from its "microscopic" properties, while the impacts may affect life, countries, continents and the whole world. Multiple aspects of water quality are discussed, from the epidemics, through toxic substances and non-point source pollution to the likely effects of global warming (Figure 1.). Areal scales of the above problems are also discussed from local ones to global ones, along with the impact of various time lags. Examples are given for illustrating the multiplicity of problems that must be handled at a given location, creating a strategically complex situation. The number of problems is growing in our globalsing world and one has to face with more and more surprise. Investigating the relationship between water and development, the global challenges are discussed: firstly the growth of the population of the developing world; the rise of waterm shortages (due to physical and economic reasons); the impacts of urbanisation; the conflicts of shared international catchments and the global pollution of freshwater resources. International initiatives related to these matters are also discussed. The role of rapidly developing science is presented, pointing out the phase-lags of problem identification and the many times week response of the societies. The role of the strategies of water management is also discussed. This latter is aimed at the casting of future visions, sketching of the history of the future, pointing out that the main task is to answer the questions of the "what happens, if.." type. This type of thinking might help avoiding the failures of the past, which had been frequently connected to the "too small action, too late" behaviour. The better and activity oriented utilisation of existing knowledge in the future, is emphasised.
|Translated title of the contribution||Water and water-management|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology