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In the last decade, water resources planners have frequently signalled an impending water crisis. The message is that the world is running out of water and that only by careful planning and the adoption of integrated water resources management can catastrophe be avoided. Stephen Brichieri-Colombi challenges these perceptions. He maintains that the crisis is one of resource management rather than availability: it arises because water resource planners advocate exploitation of rivers without due regard to social, environmental and geopolitical consequences. The author advances a new paradigm - water in the national economy - which will enable developing countries to meet future food and water demands without increasing abstraction from rivers and consequential riparian conflict. This is a powerful re-appraisal of the development of global water resources.