Water is a key resource in attaining sustainability – in social and economic development as well as in the long-term carrying capacity of the planet's life support systems, but consensus on the meaning and priority of these terms is still needed. Amongst the key points identified for water professionals: it is necessary to challenge compartmentalisation in water policy and management; water management strategies must focus clearly on the interdependence of the environment and socio-economic development; water professionals have a key role but must package the information and insight they can provide in a way that is attractive to intended recipients such as policy makers.

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