The world is gradually winning its battle to overcome drinking water shortages through better resource management, an international conference on rivers held in Australia this week heard.

But while countries including Australia and China begin to tackle problems caused by over-damming, diverting and polluting rivers, dangers are looming elsewhere, including in India.

“We’re beginning to manage our rivers a lot better with integrated water resource management,” Dr Selina Ward, a marine scientist with the University of Queensland and convenor of Riversymposium 2005, said in a telephone interview from Brisbane.

“This is occurring all over the world or at least an attempt is being made to have this happen throughout the world. (Still), areas like India are continuing to build a lot more dams when other countries in the world are beginning to … pull them down,” she said.

By Michael Byrnes

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