, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 723-725,
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Date: 09 Apr 2011

Peter G. Brown and Jeremy J. Smith (eds): Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals

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“Water is essential for life.” This opening sentence of the recently published text book on water ethics will probably not raise any eyebrows. Despite the fact that we all seem to recognize the importance of water, it has so far been neglected as an independent topic for ethical reflection; there is no systematic account of how to value water. Sure, water is discussed as a topic related to climate ethics or as a renewable resource. However, it is increasingly recognized that water is more complex than that. In water management circles, it is by now recognized that water (and its scarcity) is likely to be one of the most pressing global problems that we will be faced with in the coming years. At the same time, climate change also poses challenges related to flooding; that is, situations where there is a “surplus” of water. The North Sea countries in Europe, for example, are faced with a challenge to deal with both coastal attacks (due to global sea rise) and increasing river discharges. ...