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Inter-basin water transfers : emerging trends (Inglês)

Water demand exceeds supply in most parts of the world. To address such deficits, agencies at the national, regional, and local levels often import water through inter-basin transfers, which can have enormous environmental impacts. This article discusses four cases that illustrate such impacts: two older water transfer schemes in industrial countries, the United States and Australia, designed and built 50 - 60 years ago, before the environmental impacts of such projects were understood. The resulting degradation of the environment has catalyzed reforms in these countries' water policies to restore damaged ecosystems. And two never schemes in developing areas, China and Southern Africa, both designed within the last decade with the benefit of environmental impact assessments (EIA). Water policy reforms are needed to ensure that instream uses of water are given as high a priority as industrial, agricultural, and other uses, and that EIAs are required well before projects are designed.

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