People have a fundamental yearning for water, but most have little access to swimming pools, lakes or beaches, which are few in number and far away. Holiday resorts are over-filled with people so that many have to stay far from the water's edge; beaches may be in private hands, which removes their availability. Roads and industries frequently destroy water-edge amenities, making it dirty and treacherous. In the temperate climates that are rich in water, natural sources are dried up, hidden, covered or lost. For example, rainwater goes underground in sewers; water reservoirs are covered and fenced off; and rivers, lakes and ponds are so polluted that no one wants to go near them. There is inadequate planning for adding to public water recreation areas, owing to the tax burden of developmental costs while at the same time tax revenues are generated by the industrialization of water-side properties.
Recreational water like drinking water should be a public utility and provided for on that basis.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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