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River basins around the world are facing unprecedented stress due to a combination of population increase, economic growth, and climate change, on top of the cumulative effects of historical alterations and water pollution.  Where river restoration has been undertaken seriously, e.g., the Rhine and Danube basins, an environmental water ethic is taking shape as by-product of restoration efforts.  Local stakeholders see that their river is healthier than previously, and that there are numerous interrelated benefits.  But while a new ethic of cooperation with nature is making some progress, it needs to be clearly articulated and incorporated into planning and management functions.

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