Engineering has been the dominant discipline in the development of water resources for the benefit of mankind. Future water security under a changing climate will similarly be dependent on engineering solutions informed and mediated by politics, economics, societal concerns and environmental issues. For engineering to find its role and priorities in the multisectoral spectrum of water-related activities, it is first essential to describe water utilization in terminology that is unambiguous for each sector, then to identify which are the critical categories of use and finally to determine the kinds of technical intervention that will mitigate scarcity and competition and improve the productivity of water use. Based on such an approach, some apparent priorities are outlined.
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