Ecologists and economists have long talked past each other, but climate change presents similar threats to both groups. Water may serve as the best means of finding a common cause and building a new vision of ecological and economic sustainability, especially in the developing world.

The impacts of climate change are most visible in the dramatic changes occurring to the planet

Climate change has profound implications for managing freshwater resources and the people and species dependent on those resources, but water management long predates any awareness of anthropogenic climate change. Indeed, large-scale water management has been one of the great themes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries worldwide.

Climate adaptation is the process of adjusting to novel climate regimes, such as reducing water consumption to compensate for reduced precipitation rates, shifting the location of an industry away from an increasingly drought-prone area to a region that will be receiving higher flows, or altering urban stream morphology to allow for larger and more frequent floods.