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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 20, Issue 5
Welcome to a further issue of MEQ. This issue presents once more an interesting set of papers on matters related to environmental management from across the world, outlining some of the ways environmental matters are perceived and dealt with in a number of industrializing and developed countries.
In this editorial I would like to refer to a Report recently launched by the European Environment Agency, titled “Water Resources Across Europe – confronting water scarcity and draught” which describes the grave impacts of excessive abstraction.
It is widely known that overexploiting water resources increases the likelihood of severe water shortages during dry periods. But this also means diminished water quality (because pollutants are less diluted) and the risk of salt water intrusion into groundwater in areas near coastal regions. River and lake ecosystems can also be severely affected, harming or killing plants and animals, when water levels drop or dry out completely.
The EEA Report argues that agricultural water use must be made more efficient not only to ensure enough water for irrigation but also for local people, a healthy environment and other economic sectors. Water pricing represents the core mechanism to encourage sustainable levels of water use that balance society’s economic, environmental and social goals. Research demonstrates that if prices reflect true costs, illegal extraction is effectively policed, and water is paid for by volume, then farmers and other major water users will reduce irrigation or adopt measures to improve water efficiency. Once the incentives are in place, farmers can choose from a variety of technologies, practices and crops to reduce water use. After efforts to reduce demand have been exploited, farms can also take advantage of opportunities to draw on alternative supplies.
MEQ is conscious of the fact that proper emphasis needs to be given to the sound management of water supplies since it is invaluable to preserving environmental quality. It shall report on studies and research in this field, thus providing its readers with the latest scientific information and report in the most current trends.
Enjoy your reading!
Walter Leal Filho