By Peter Sun, Senior Policy Seminor on Policies for Multi-Purpose River Basin develo
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The world's population is expected to grow from about 5 billion today to 6 billion by the year 2000 and to at least 8 billion by the year 2025. This growth will be accompanied by a major migration to the cities, in part because of the difficulty and the investment required to increase the carrying capacity of the land in a sustainable manner. At the same time, this urban growth and the associated development of industries will increase considerably the need for water supply and sanitation services and the investments needed to provide these services.
As a result, the decisionmaking process is often unclear and unsatisfactory to some of the actors involved. More direct interaction should lead to better mutual understanding, and consequently to better, more realistic planning, and to a better understanding of the basis for planning proposals. Furthermore, planning is a dynamic dialogue. Plans are prepared, approved, modified, canceled, and revised. Databases, objectives, and decisionmakers change over time. Projects are committed and built that may or may not fit very well into the overall plan, requiring modification of the basic plan.
These analyses are indispensable because they are also the tools for comparing the proposed investment program with investments in other sectors, so that financial resources can be used in society's best interests. Economic analysis of multi-sectoral river basin projects is complex. Their systematic complexity derives from having to evaluate economically and mesh the various project components. The dynamic complexity derives from the project's time dimensions and the sequencing of investment components and benefit streams.