Turning the Tide: A Call to Collective Action


Mariana Mazzucato, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Johan Rockström and Tharman Shanmugaratnam 


We can no longer ignore the world’s crisis of water.  

We will fail on climate change if we do not solve water. We will also fail on all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

No person, place, economy or ecosystem will be spared.  

We are seeing the consequences not of freak events, nor of population growth and economic development, but of having mismanaged water globally for decades. As the science and evidence show, we now face a systemic crisis that is both local and global.  

Our collective actions have pushed the global water cycle out of balance for the first time in human history, wreaking increasing damage on communities everywhere. Further, countries are interconnected not only through transboundary rivers or streams of groundwater, but also through atmospheric flows of water vapour. And dangerously, we face water’s deepening connection with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, with each reinforcing the other.   

We can only fix this collectively. And if we move with urgency.  


Mazzucato, M., N. Okonjo-Iweala, J. Rockström and T. Shanmugaratnam (2023), Turning the Tide: A Call to Collective Action, Global Commission on the Economics of Water, Paris.

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