By the year 2025 nearly 2 billion people will live in regions experiencing absolute water scarcity. In the face of this emerging crisis, how should the planet's water be used and managed? Current international policy sees nature competing with human uses of water. Hunt takes issue with this perspective. She suggests that nature is the source of water and only by making the conservation of nature an absolute priority will we have the water we need for human use in future. It is essential , therefore, to manage water in ways that maintain the water cycle and the ecosystems that support it. This book looks at the complexity of the problem. It provides a wide array of ideas, information, case studies and ecological knowledge - often from remote corners of the developing world -- that could provide an alternative vision for water use and management at this critical time. Essential and compelling reading for students on courses related to water resource management and development; water managers and decision makers, and non-specialists with an interest in global water issues.