Publication


Water Management: Soft Water Paths

Published: July 2002
Authors: Peter Gleick
Pages: 1


Article

Overview

Despite massive investment and effort, at the end of the 20th century 2.4 billion people lacked sanitation services of the standard available to most citizens of ancient Rome. Additionally, more than one billion people around the world lacked adequate clean drinking water.

This report explores the “soft path” to achieving an adequate, sustainable water supply. Soft water approaches complement existing, traditional approaches to water management, but rather than relying on centralized infrastructure and new sources of supply, the “soft path” to water management invests in decentralized facilities, efficient technologies and policies, and human capital. It delivers water services that are matched to the needs of end users on multiple social scales, while avoiding ecologically damaging, socially intrusive and capital-intensive projects that may fail to deliver their promised benefits.

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