You are here: Home Knowledge Base Environment Preparing for the Blue Revolution Solutions To adapt water management to climate change, strengthen the legal architecture and implementation of laws on water use, taking account of the entire “water chain;” and phase out water subsidies ...
Symposium 2009

Solution for Preparing for the Blue Revolution

The Challenge

Water shortages are cropping up around the world – from Australia to South Africa, from Brazil to the Sahel. Many of the world’s mightiest rivers run dry before reaching the sea. Perhaps half th ...

Water shortages are cropping up around the world – from Australia to South Africa, from Brazil to the Sahel. Many of the world’s mightiest rivers run dry before reaching the sea. Perhaps half the world’s wetlands have been damaged or destroyed in the past century as salt water has displaced fresh water. These facts are striking, in view of the fact that the world’s population withdraws less than a tenth of the water that falls to the ground and that – unlike our fossil fuels – the world’s water supplies cannot be used up.

To adapt water management to climate change, strengthen the legal architecture and implementation of laws on water use, taking account of the entire “water chain;” and phase out water subsidies in the longer term.

Climate change alters rainfall patterns. Climate models predict a further decrease in water availability, especially for the dry areas of the world where water is already scarce and where many people depend on rainfall. As a consequence, a more flexible governance structure is needed, which can be adjusted to an ever changing world.

Government cannot solve the diverse set of regulatory problems on its own. There can be substantial inequalities in the allocation of water. But government is needed to reform the water sector and to provide an institutional framework, whereas markets are needed to bring about appropriate price signals. The strengthening of the legal architecture and implementation of laws around water use needs to be part of capacity-strengthening.

Functioning markets are necessary to induce the major water users in agriculture and industry to use water more efficiently. This implies that subsidies on water have to be transparent. Ultimately, they need to be phased out.

The successful adaptation of water management to a changing world needs to take account of the whole “water chain.” This chain encompasses water from the source to the user level, as well as its reuse, and sufficient water for the provision of environmental services.

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    Symposium 2009

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    Facilitate women’s access to water and enhance their participation in the development and implementation of water management strategies in poor countries.

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    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society