Perspective: The challenge of ecologically sustainable water management25 April 2007
Sustainable water resource management is constrained by three pervasive myths; that societal and environmental water demands always compete with one another; that technological solutions can solve all water resource management problems; and that environmental solutions to protect and maintain freshwater resources are more expensive and less dependable than technological solutions. We argue that conservation and good stewardship of water resources can go a long way toward meeting societal demands and values. Furthermore, water requirements to sustain ecosystem health and biodiversity in rivers and their associated coastal systems can be well aligned with options for human use and deliver a suite of ecosystem goods and services to society. However, to achieve ecologically sustainable water management, we propose several key issues that must be addressed. The objective of this opinion paper is to stimulate discussion across traditional discipline boundaries with the aim of forging new partnerships and collaborations to meet this pressing challenge of ecologically sustainable water management.