Development is a very simple idea. It is about ensuring a
better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations
U.K. Department of the Environment, Transport,
and the Regions (1)
Water is a key to sustainable development, crucial to
its social, economic and environmental dimensions. Water is
life, essential for human health. Water is an economic and
a social good, and should be allocated first to satisfy basic
human needs. Many people regard access to drinking water and
sanitation to be a human right. There is no substitute for
water: without it, humans and other living organisms die,
farmers cannot grow food, businesses cannot operate. Providing
water security is a key dimension of poverty reduction.
International Conference on Freshwater,
Bonn, 2001 (2)
Water scarcity may be the most under appreciated global
environmental challenge of our time.
World Watch Institute (3)
Water is needed in all aspects of life. The general
objective is to make certain that adequate supplies of water
of good quality are maintained for the entire population of
this planet, while preserving the hydrological, biological
and chemical functions of ecosystems, adapting human activities
within the capacity limits of nature and combating vectors
of water-related diseases.
United Nations: Agenda 21 (4)
All human beings have an inherent right to water in
quantities and of a quality necessary to meet their basic
needs. This right should be protected by law. The right to
water is satisfied when every person has physical and economic
access to a basic water requirement at all times.
Satisfying the standards of [the UN
Declaration of Human Rights] cannot be done without water
of a sufficient quantity and quality to maintain human health
and well-being. Meeting a standard of living adequate for
the health and well being of individuals requires the availability
of a minimum amount of clean water.
Peter Gleick, President, Pacific Institute
for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security (5)
One cannot preserve the life of a place and not protect
the waters that run through it. Historically, The Nature Conservancy
has targeted terrestrial species through protection of the
habitats that they need to survive. We have had great success
on this front, owning and managing the worlds largest
system of private nature preserves. But our thinking and methods
have evolved over time and we recognize the connection between
land and water is elemental: one cannot preserve both the
terrestrial and aquatic life of a place without protecting
the waters that run through it.
The Nature Conservancy Freshwater Initiative
Forests are vital to this countrys water supply.
The largest volume and the cleanest water in the United States
flows off our forested landscapes. Forests cover one-third
of the continental United States but supply two-thirds of
Water is perhaps the most under-valued and
under-appreciated forest product. Watershed health and restoration
should be the over-riding priority for forest management.
We can leave no greater gift to our children than to leave
the watersheds entrusted to our care healthier, more diverse,
and more productive.
Mike Dombeck, Former U.S. Forest Service
Doing more with less is the first and easiest step along
the path toward water security. By using water more efficiently,
we in effect create a new source of supply.
In short, we need a water ethic
a guide to right conduct in the face of complex decisions
about natural systems we do not and cannot fully understand.
The essence of such an ethic is to make the protection of
water ecosystems a central goal in all we do
such an ethic would mean using less whenever we can, and sharing
what we have.
Sandra Postel, Director of the Global Water
Policy Project (8)