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The Water ParadoxOvercoming the Global Crisis in Water Management$
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Edward B. Barbier

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300224436

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300224436.001.0001

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The Water Paradox

(p.1) Introduction
The Water Paradox

Edward B. Barbier

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the water paradox. Water is essential to life and freshwater on this planet has always been limited. This would suggest that, if water is the most valuable commodity for humans and it is growing scarcer because of its increasing use, then humans ought to be taking care of its main source—freshwater ecosystems. Instead, for thousands and thousands of years, humankind's approach to managing water supplies has been just the opposite. Unfortunately, the consequence of humankind's action and neglect is that the principal source of water—freshwater ecosystems—is under increased pressure and even destruction from both human impacts and environmental change. Indeed, according to the World Economic Forum's annual report Global Risk 2016, over the next decade the biggest threat to the planet will be a global water crisis. A global water crisis will have a number of economic and social implications.

Keywords:   water, freshwater, freshwater ecosystems, water supplies, environmental change, water crisis, water scarcity

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