Looks at the global 'water crisis', as it is often labelled, where increasing pressure on world water resources are felt as global population grows and demand for water rises. The 'crisis' is a major feature of the development landscape. International meetings regularly focus on images of empty reservoirs, overflowing sewers, the poor carrying water over long distances, and foaming, polluted rivers. These images help to raise concern over the lack of access to clean water and the future means to address availability, but also point to faultlines between different approaches to tackling the issues. This briefing investigates these faultlines.