Water flows through all aspects of our lives, sustaining ecosystems, meeting household needs, and critically, creating opportunities for a range of productive activities. As pressures on the environment increase, understanding the role of water in supporting livelihoods is essential for ensuring the sustained wellbeing of human populations and ecosystems.

This chapter examines a variety of pathways through which water of varying qualities and quantities enables livelihoods and incomes. Examples describing the role of water in securing jobs across a range of sectors are explored, including manufacturing industries, energy and agriculture. In particular, this chapter provides insight on the role of wastewater, an increasingly important resource, in providing jobs in growing cities worldwide. Barriers to securing water resources that impede economic opportunities and development, as well as emerging opportunities to reduce these obstacles are presented.

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