Water management in developing countries is significantly affected by the processes of globalization: primarily the rapidly acting market-oriented changes that aim to improve economic efficiency through competition and trade. The various impacts of market forces enable 3 categories of developing country to be differentiated: those rapidly integrating into the global economy; those that are not attractive to international investment and become increasingly marginalized; and those countries where both tendencies are powerful, leading to internal divisions and instabilities. Broad framework national development plans are needed that are sensitive to the different circumstances in these countries and that enable the possible actors to collaborate optimally. Often the business sector can take a leading role, but its role is severely limited in other countries. In all cases however the long-term commitment of local communities is essential even when it is hard to secure.

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