Surface waters and groundwater are renewable resources with a limited capacity to recover from adverse impacts from human activities on their quantity and quality, that any failure to respect those limits may result in adverse effects, in both the short and long terms, on the health and well-being of those who rely on those resources and their quality. Sustainable management of the hydrological cycle is essential for both meeting human needs and protecting the environment.
The consequences for public health of shortfalls of water in the quantities, and of the quality, sufficient to meet basic human needs has serious effects in particular, on the vulnerable, the disadvantaged and the socially excluded.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends promotion of water conservation through improved water-use efficiency and wastage minimization schemes for all users, including the development of water-saving devices.
2. Each generation must ensure that the abundance and quality of water is not diminished as a result of its activities.