The quality and availability of fresh water are of critical importance to human and ecosystem health. Given its central role in the functioning of all living systems, water is arguably the most important of all natural resources. The World's Water provides a timely examination of the key issues surrounding freshwater resources and their use. This 2004-2005 edition features overview chapters on: conservation and efficiency as key tools for meeting freshwater needs; bottled water quality, costs, and trends; United Nations millennium development goals; groundwater issues; case studies of water privatization; the economic value of water; California water policy and climate change; The World's Water is the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of information and analysis on freshwater resources and the political, economic, scientific, and technological issues associated with them. It is an essential reference for water resource professionals in government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, researchers, students, and anyone concerned with water and its use.