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This statement in the most recent Human Development Report articulates a convention that has increasingly gained ground in the water community over recent years: the key challenge in the water sector is not a lack of water, knowledge, financial resources or technology. In general, it is the political sphere that determines whether or not water problems are solved, whether or not people have access to drinking water, irrigation water and sanitation, whether our natural resource base is developed sustainable or over-exploited, and whether new challenges for the water sector – such as adaptation to climate change – will be tackled or not. Politics (the process of decision-making of groups of people, involving the authoritative allocation of e.g. resources), the actors, their interests and interactions determine whether progress is made or hindered. The outcome of water politics is then reelected in water policies, the substantive outcome of the political interplay in terms of regulations, action programs or spending priorities of the various public or private entities concerned.