This paper was presented as a lecture for the 2005 Clarke Prize. It addresses the global challenge for adequate and safe water through several cases involving water scarcity and quality. The first case, in Namibia, exemplifies water scarcity and the harnessing of water science and technology to extract water for potable use from a nontraditional source – domestic wastewater. The second case focuses on water scarcity and the implications for national stability and regional peace, illustrated by Israel and its neighboring countries. The third discussion is related to water quality, specifically the lack of safe drinking water in the developing world. Drawing from these cases, it is shown that global water scarcity and quality problems involve complex technological, societal, cultural, economical, and political aspects.

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