Managing water supplies

Freeing up water supply
Ensuring appropriate water delivery
Supplying water
Constraints to supplying water, now and in the future, include diminishing per capita supplies, pollution, crumbling infrastructure and changing availability of water as a result of global climate change. These constraints will be occurring simultaneously with increasing water demands.

Global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth. According to the United Nations, more than one billion people already lack access to fresh drinking water. If current trends persist, by 2025 the demand for fresh water is expected to rise by 56 percent more than the amount of water that is currently available.

Multinational corporations recognize these trends and are trying to monopolize water supplies around the world. The World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing. This policy is causing great distress in many Third World countries, which fear that their citizens will not be able to afford for-profit water. Grassroots resistance to the privatization of water emerges as companies expand profit taking.

In some countries, the government alone is responsible for water management; in others, the government and the beneficiaries share this responsibility. Experience has shown that participatory water management organizations (WMOs) have the most success in ensuring the sustainability of water management systems. WMOs execute important tasks, eg flood protection, flood control, evacuation of surplus water, supply of irrigation water, management of groundwater resources, and maintaining the quality of surface water and groundwater. The Dutch Water Boards are an example of WMOs; they are multi-functional organizations for integrated water management.
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal