Considerable investment has been made in the development, construction, and management of water resources projects in the past 150 years. Many of these projects have caused deleterious environmental consequences, such as erosion and sedimentation of reservoirs, water logging, and alkalinization and salinization of irrigated lands. With the rising demand worldwide for quality water, the increasing call for preservation of environmental quality and sustenance of biodiversity, and the simultaneous and growing acceptance that the water use and management strategies of the past have often been unsustainable, there is an urgent need for wide-ranging discussions of past water resources policies and practices.
Scientists, engineers, planners, managers, administrators, and policy makers recently met in Bhopal, India, to discuss problems and exchange ideas pertaining to water, water use, and the environment in arid, semi-arid, subhumid, humid, and tropical regions. More than 400 participants representing 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, India, Germany, France, Italy the United States, and the United Kingdom, among others attended Water and Environment (WE)-2003.