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Water lack is down to funds


I read with interest the account of the approach to providing water for use at London's Millennium Dome (NCEI August). One dimension was absent - the capital and operating costs of the project.

In the lead up to next year's Johannesburg Earth Summit, it is particularly important for the technical professions to highlight the real challenges of sustainable development.

Moving beyond the trite 'Water is running out' paradigm, it is clear that, except in very specific circumstances water in not in short supply. What we are short of are the funds required to provide it where is needed in the quality and quantity required.

That does not mean that the solution to water problems is aid or government subsidy.

What it does mean is that we have to understand the socio-economic context of our activities and what is needed for basic activities like water supply to become viable.

This is just as true for the Millennium Dome in Britain as it is for poor third world countries.

Mike Muller, Johannesburg, South Africa marusemi@sn. apc. org

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