Changes in human and natural systems will drive serious threats to freshwater resources in the 21st century. Multiple drivers of global change, including climate change, shifts in land use, increasing population and decaying infrastructure, will put water resources at risk. An overarching challenge will be to create water systems that can sustain human well-being and natural ecosystems in the presence of rapid environmental and socio-economic change. It will be essential to balance provision of water for direct human use and water to preserve natural ecosystems.

To deal with impending global water crises, different regions will need locally relevant freshwater solutions focused on incentives, technology, conservation, markets and trade.

Stanford researchers and local collaborators are working to generate policy evaluation models, provide targeted analyses of viable policy interventions and train the next generation of water resource experts.

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