Throughout history water has confronted humanity with some of its greatest challenges. Water is a source of life and a natural resource that sustains our environments and supports livelihoods - but it is also a source of risk and vulnerability. Prospects for human development are threatened by a deepening global water crisis. In a world of unprecedented wealth, almost 2 million children die each year for want of a glass of clean water and adequate sanitation. Beyond the household, competition for water as a productive resource is intensifying. Conflicts over water are intensifying within countries, with the rural poor losing out. Debunking the myth that the crisis is the result of scarcity, this report argues poverty, power and inequality are at the heart of the problem.