Water Resources in Developing Countries

by Frank A. Butrico, (F.ASCE), Chf.; Div. of Environmental Health Protection, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, D.C. 20037,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 3, Pg. 175-180

Document Type: Journal Paper


Most of the nations of the world are concerned with providing water to as many people as possible during the Decade of the 1980's, (The International Drinking Water and Sanitation Decade). This ambitious goal and those for economic growth and development will mean increased demands for water which will be difficult to satisfy if governments do not take steps to develop a national policy on water resource management and to incorporate this policy into a national development strategy. This paper reviews the global effort to extend water supply services as well as the possible constraints which may make it difficult to achieve the goals for the Decade. Among these are institutional weaknesses, operation and maintenance problems that affect water quality, the availability of trained personnel, and economic and financial problems. The importance of preserving water quality while proceeding with economic development is also mentioned.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Water quality | Economic factors | Developing countries | Resource management | Water conservation | International waters | Drinking water

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