Water is essential for life. Where it is used poorly, or where pollution leaves it useless, good health and prosperity are lost. Ensuring that use of water is equitable- and Sustainable is therefore a fundamental challenge of development and one that is ever more urgent as growth increases our demand for water. Our thirst for water is seemingly unquenchable. However, our common duty to safeguard water resources remains – for all peoples, for future generations, and for the continuing survival of the natural world that sustains us.

Many of our citizens are suffering because they lack access to clean water, as a result of problems faced by our national water systems. It is essential therefore that water reform processes are enabled, to ensure we can confront the water challenges of the present, while building a future that is sustainable.

This book is a call for States to look carefully at their water resources management and their governance mechanisms for water. This guide encourages, and gives clear guidance, on how governments can improve their water governance capacity by means of enhancing the equilibrium between water policies, laws and institutions.

RULE is an excellent starting point and reference for those interested in conceptualizing and Implementing improved and strengthened water management mechanism. All water professionals as well as governments and civil society are encouraged to work together to promote better water management systems. In this way we can make a contribution towards facing the many challenges that we have in the sustainable use of our planet's resources.

It is my great pleasure to present this book to you, in the hope that it will encourage greater efforts towards effective water governance – and thus, more sustainable future.

Alvaro Colom Caballeros
Presidente de la República de Guatemala

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