At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Earth is facing a serious water crisis. The sector is plagued by a chronic lack of political support, poor governance and underinvestment. Hundreds of millions of people remain trapped in poverty and ill health and exposed to the risk of water-related disasters, environmental degradation and even political instability and conflict. This is especially the case in sub-Saharan Africa, a region on which this text is mainly focused.
The crisis appears to be more a crisis of governance than of resources, and societies are facing a number of social, economic and political challenges on how to govern water more effectively.