Water. It is the source of life underpinning and linking core systems – food production, ecosystem functions and services, health and sanitation, energy and culture – and as such, cannot be considered in isolation from them. Water is one of the foundational resources required for sustainable development, a process articulated in the Brundtland Report (UNWCED 1987: 43) as meeting ‘the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs’. Unequal and ecologically unsustainable development (mediated by institutional, social, cultural, political and economic processes) reduces or excludes particular groups’ access to and use of physical and environmental resources (Bebbington 1999). This includes water and water-related services, like sanitation, sewerage and irrigation and the ability to live or earn a living in less hazard-exposed areas, particularly those prone to water-mediated hazards like flooding.