A radical new approach to tackling the growing threat of water scarcity
Water is essential to life, yet humankind’s relationship with water is complex. For millennia, we have perceived it as abundant and easily accessible. But water shortages are fast becoming a persistent reality for all nations, rich and poor. With demand outstripping supply, a global water crisis is imminent.
In this trenchant critique of current water policies and practices, Edward Barbier argues that our water crisis is as much a failure of water management as it is a result of scarcity. Outdated governance structures and institutions, combined with continual underpricing, have perpetuated the overuse and undervaluation of water and disincentivized much-needed technological innovation. As a result “water grabbing” is on the rise, and cooperation to resolve these disputes is increasingly fraught. Barbier draws on evidence from countries across the globe to show the scale of the problem, and outlines the policy and management solutions needed to avert this crisis.
About the Author
Edward B. Barbier is professor of economics and senior scholar in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. He is an internationally recognized expert on environmental policy, and has served as a consultant and advisor to numerous international organizations.
‘’Edward Barbier does a fabulous job educating the reader on the state of water in the world and on ways to address associated water-issues. While the book is written for a non-technical audience, it is essential reading for water professionals and policy makers.’’ – Ariel Dinar, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the University of California, Riverside.
"Barbier is the go-to person on water and water scarcity. This is a comprehensive guide for anyone who cares about one of the most important issues in this century.” – Dieter Helm, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and author of Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet
"clear and compelling... recommended reading for all interested in the pressing issue of water scarcity.” – Professor Anil Markandya, Former Scientific Director at the Basque Centre for Climate Change.