Water may soon be one of our most valuable commodities. The growing demands made on a finite resource by an increasing number of people adopting urban lifestyles and western diets, coupled with a changing and less predictable climate, are putting pressure on the planet's freshwater supply as never before.
By 2025, 4 billion people may be living in conditions of water stress. And even where water is plentiful, the poor are unlikely to have ready access to a safe, cheap supply.
The new edition of this timely atlas, previously titled The Atlas of Water, analyzes the latest thinking and emerging issues. Completely updated, it maps the competing claims on limited water resources – made by farmers, industrialists and householders – and investigates the nature of the resource, its uses and abuses, as well as the vexed question of how it can be managed equitably.
- water shortages
- excessive demands
- basin stresses
- climate impacts
- water footprints
- competition and co-operation
- dam construction
- fragile ecosystems
- access to water and sanitation
- water pricing and privatization
- integrated water management
Maggie Black has written on international issues, including for UNICEF, WaterAid and the Global Water Partnership. Her books include: Water: A Matter of Life and Health (with Rupert Talbot), Water Life Force, The NoNonsense Guides to Water and International Development (New Internationalist), and The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis with Ben Fawcett (Earthscan 2008).
"A very attractive and useful book [...] Highly recommended."
– New Agriculturalist
– OXFAM Development Resources Review
"An indispensable guide to a vital issue."
– Scientific and Medical Network Review
"A fascinating look at the state of water in our world and can be considered a must-read for anyone grappling with this complex topic."
– The Green Life
"Accessible to a wide range of readers from school children upwards and presents information and analysis in a clear and attractive 'atlas' format. The contents of the book are all one could hope for."