Water’s Role in a Sustainable Future

  • David E. McNabb


This chapter describes water’s role in sustainable development. Featured are water supplies and the organizations that collect, process and distribute water for homes, farms and industries make up the systems that supply water in adequate quantity and quality that meets appropriate needs. The chapter introduces seven of what are among the major barriers to achieving and sustaining stable and secure water supplies around the globe.


Climate change Population growth Urbanization Inefficient agriculture Energy choices Sustainable development Funding for infrastructure 


  1. Cohen, Steven. 2011. Sustainability Management. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Grimaldos, Angel Simón. 2015. Water for a sustainable future: New paradigm, new vision. In Water and Sustainable Development, ed. Ramiro A. Lopera, 68–73. United Nations Water for Life. Accessed December 7, 2017 from
  3. Herrick, Charles, and Joanna Pratt. 2012. Sustainability in the water sector: Enabling lasting change through leadership and cultural transformation. Nature and Culture 7 (3): 285–313.Google Scholar
  4. OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner). 2003. General Comment No. 15: The right to water. United Nations, January 20. Accessed October 23, 2017 from
  5. OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner). 2017. Vienna declaration and program of action. Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, United Nations. Accessed October 23, 2017 from
  6. Randall, Alan. 2007. Benefit cost analysis and a save minimum standard of conservation. In Handbook of Sustainable Development, ed. Giles Atkinson, Simon Dietz, and Eric Neumayer, 91–105. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  7. Schnoor, Jerald L. 2008. Living with a changing water environment. The Bridge 38 (2): 46–54.Google Scholar
  8. Schnoor, Jerald L. 2010. Water sustainability in a changing world. 2010 Clarke Prize Lecture, National Water Research Institute. Accessed October 11, 2017 from
  9. Senn, Dominique, and Dorothee Spuhler. 2015. Water, sanitation and urbanization. Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SWWM). Accessed October 25, 2017 from
  10. Shuster-Wallace, C.J., M. Qadir, Z. Adeel, F. Renaud, and S.K. Dickin. 2015. Putting water and energy at the heart of sustainable development. United Nations University (UNU). Accessed October 24, 2017 from
  11. Soubbotina, Tatyana P. 2004. Beyond economic growth: An introduction to sustainable development, 2nd ed. World Bank. Accessed December 4, 2018 from
  12. UN (United Nations). 1997. Earth summit. United Nations. Accessed October 22, 2017 from
  13. UN (United Nations). 2014. International decade for action ‘Water for Life’ 2005–2015. Accessed November 5, 2017 from
  14. WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development). 1987. Our Common Future. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. WHO (World Health Organization). 2011. Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions and the prevention of diarrhea. Accessed October 24, 2017 from
  16. WHO (World Health Organization). 2017. Progress on drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, update and sustainable development goals. World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Program (JMP). Accessed November 7, 2017 from
  17. World Bank. 2012. Gender equality and development. World Development Report 2012. Accessed October 24, 2017 from
  18. World Bank. 2013. Thirsty energy: Securing energy in a water-constrained world. Accessed October 24, 2017 from
  19. World Bank. 2015. Thirsty energy update. Accessed October 24, 2017 from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Lutheran UniversityTacomaUSA

Personalised recommendations