Water resources are a key component supporting and strengthening sustainable development in the American hemisphere and globally. This new publication from IANAS, “Water Quality in the Americas: Risks and Opportunities” brings together a unified effort by IANAS member academies from 21 countries of the Americas. A team of 148 authors from these countries, experts in different aspects of water science, produced this assessment from the perspective of the academies of science, with the objective of analysing specific problems of water quality and offering suggestions for better management.
This book provides an overview of surface and groundwater quality and impacts on human consumption, agriculture and ecosystem services in each country, thereby creating a hemisphere-wide picture of the current status and future challenges for the quality of essential water resources.
This overview aims to facilitate the creation of new management concepts and the introduction of best practices in this diverse region. The book considers areas of abundance and scarcity of water resources, ranging from temperate to tropical zones, and puts water resource development in the context of the great diversity of economic and social development in the Americas. It deals with the different impacts of industrial and human activity in both urban and rural areas, problems involved in potable water and wastewater treatment, and in particular, each country´s institutional and professional capacities to improve water governance. This volume, product of a joint effort between the Water Committee of the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science (IANAS) https://www.ianas.org and the International Hydrology Programme https://en.unesco.org/themes/water-security/hydrology of UNESCO, is the latest of three publications resulting from this ongoing collaboration. Earlier works include a comprehensive overview of the water resources of the Americas entitled Diagnosis of Water in the Americas https://www.ianas.org/water/book/Diagnosis_of_Water_in_the_Americas.pdf , published in 2013, and a study of urban waters entitled Urban Water: Challenges in the Americas https://www.ianas.org/docs/books/Urban_Water.html , published in 2015.