|Water, Economics, and Trade: Overview|
Water is essential to the economic development of individuals, communities, countries, and the world. Human settlement activity, from ancient times to the present, has been driven by access to dependable water sources. Societies that flourish are generally located near water, which can be used as an agent for human development, industry and agriculture, transport of traded goods, and cultural, social, and religious purposes. On the other hand, because water touches all these areas of economic life, water stress endangers economic activity at every level.
As the world’s economy becomes increasingly interconnected, water stress and water use become global issues. In some areas, water scarcity is physical and related to a country’s geographic location. In others, water scarcity is economic, meaning that water sources are available, but inaccessible or damaged because of lack of infrastructure, investment, and good management. Whatever the cause of the water stress, from the deserts of Sudan to the growing cities of China and India, solutions are needed to help people and businesses do more with less water.
In this section…