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We live in times of crisis in which the international community must pause to reflect and decide which model of global governance we must take on board for the 21st century. We must face up to the ever worsening crisis of social and environmental unsustainability in the world.

With reference to water resources, the systematic destruction and degradation of water ecosystems and aquifers has already led to dramatic social repercussions. 1,100 million people with no guaranteed access to drinking water, and the breakdown of the hydraulic cycle and health of rivers, lakes and wetlands are two consequences of this crisis.

From our position in the old Europe, the positive ongoing experience of overcoming frontiers and the significant power and influence of the European Union on the international stage must encourage us to take on serious commitments so as to overcome this crisis. The citizens’ movement for a New Water Culture in the EU over recent years represents a promising move in this direction.

In this context, we, the scientific community, have a moral obligation to contribute to the development of this New Culture with our knowledge and commitment. This European Declaration for a New Water Culture represents a contribution in this sense from a large and prestigious sector of the European scientific community, open for subsequent discussion in both Europe and the rest of the world.

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