Water resources are under threat in many parts of the world. Climate change and natural disasters like earthquakes are aggravating already critical situations. But a significant number of threats are posed directly by human interference and failings. A major theme in the book is the need for preparedness. Poor risk assessment, lack of emergency planning and poor institutional response are key factors in making natural disasters or human-induced problems worse. The problems are ones of water quality as well as quantity. A large section is devoted to the threats from climate change and extreme hydrological events. As global warming progresses most regions can expect an increase in the frequency of floods and droughts. But the rising cost of these events is also directly due to human mismanagement, lack of preparation and poor emergency response. Similar issues surround the threats from terrorism and armed conflicts, which are analysed by a special Working Group. A final section is devoted to analyses of the water resources problems surrounding the Aral Sea - perhaps the worst man-made disaster in history - in which experts from the region discuss the solutions being developed, the urgent need for international collaboration and the problems caused by the huge cost of rehabilitation.