La Houille Blanche
Number 2, Avril 1998
|Page(s)||25 - 28|
|Published online||01 August 2009|
Faut-il craindre une pénurie des ressources en eau au XXIe siècle ? Les thèses en présence
Towards Water Scarcity in the 21st Century? Current Schools of Thought
SAFEGE, Ingénieurs Conseils
This article describes current schools of thought on water as a finite resource and, as such, a factor to be contended within the pursuit of sustainable development. The media, in inflating this topic, has tended to create stereotypes in the minds of the public and the leaders of opinion. These issues must be put into their proper perspective if a constructive debate is to ensue.
The four main schools of thought, addressed schematically in this article, are as follows:
- the neo-Malthusian school, which focuses on water as a key factor in global food security and asserts that, overall, the continued growth of man-made pressures on the hydrological cycle cannot fail to have adverse consequences for Biodiversity,
- the Planning-centred approach which places the emphasis on water resources as an aspect of economic development at the state level,
- the Geostrategic viewpoint, which stresses transboundary issues and the vulnerability of certain nations due to their lack of autonomy regarding water resources,
- the Economy-centred theory which advocates market mechanisms as a means of regulating resource allocation. This works by conciliating the interests of the individual with those of the economic community through instruments such as fees, incentives and water right transactions.
© Société Hydrotechnique de France, 1998