And so it was. By the beginning of the twenty-ﬁrst century it had become appar-
ent, and a consensus had emerged, that the world was in a state of a water crisis.
Talk of an impending crisis had begun back in the late 1970s, yet despite a
variety of efforts over the following two decades, as we entered the new millen-
nium more than one-ﬁfth of the world’s population were without access to
enough clean water to live a healthy, digniﬁed life. In tune with mainstream
development thinking of the time, early analyses on the cause of the crisis
pointed to a looming Malthusian catastrophe of resource scarcity, population
pressures and limits to growth. Two decades later, however, another analysis on
the cause of the crisis had taken centre stage. While it was still largely agreed
that some areas of the globe were certainly water-stressed, it had come to be
believed that the water crisis was a consequence of politics, poverty and the way
water is managed and allocated (UNDP 2006). In short, it had been determined,
and decided, that the crisis of water was an outcome of a crisis of governance
(UN WWAP 2003).