The interaction between water and human development is changing. Traditionally a resource to be exploited, water today is increasingly perceived as a limited resource essential for human activities. The impact of man's water use on the global hydrological cycle during the past one hundred years will surely continue. There have even been warnings of a coming worldwide water crisis. Several observers urge sustainable management of the global water resources.
Perspectives on Water provides the basic analysis needed for such a management strategy. To study the changing relationship between water and humans, the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Holland has developed the AQUA simulation model. This book introduces the model for the first time. Various 'possible water futures' are presented, based on different perspectives on how the world functions and should be managed. Arjen Hoekstra shows which risks are connected to different kinds of water policy strategy.
In this innovative text, the author employs an integrated and explorative approach, putting 'water issues' in the broad context of population growth, economic and technological development, land use changes and global warming. The water issues addressed vary from water scarcity and pollution to groundwater-level decline and sea-level rise.