Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Managing and allocating increasingly scarce water resources in an integrated way that accommodates different, often competing, uses and users is a challenge of significant proportions. Most accessible water - an estimated 70 to 80% worldwide - is being used for food production for human populations to the tune of about 1 000 tonnes of water for 1 tonne of cereals. Water for domestic and industrial purposes accounts for between 10 and 15% respectively in the overall balance. Through its Water Initiative, the European Union wants to raise the political profile of the water-related Millennium Development goals and improve the implementation process. After all, it is acknowledged that the growing water crisis is also a crisis of governance.
What choices do our societies make to find a balance between various direct human uses of water and the needs of ecosystems? Are ecosystems being considered as essential goods and service-providers for sustainable livelihoods and well-being? These choices are influenced by economic considerations, social and cultural preferences as much as by the growing body of scientific knowledge. All of these have an impact. But engrained social preferences may make new scientific knowledge difficult to incorporate into water policy. On the other hand, their impact is not always easy to measure, particularly as they make themselves known according to very different timescales, and it is difficult to make trade-offs between the short and long term. It is our ambition to make better use of our considerable international co-operation in water research to help address water challenges and promote integrated water resources allocation and management that engages with the people it is designed to help, and meets their needs.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22018 EN (2006), 52 pp. Free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: KI-NA-22018-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN 92-79-01024-7
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