On the one hand, only the holistic and systemic approach outlined herein seems capable of providing a deeper understanding of the behavior and evolution of surface and groundwater systems. This approach will also design strategies for maximizing the efficient use and management of available water resources, while preserving or enhancing the buffering capacity of the environment against unexpected stress or negative long-term trends. On the other hand, engineers, economists, ecologists, planners, along with stakeholders, user associations and all sectors of society must be involved in the decision making process. Failure to do so will increase the risk of opposition to projects even once they have been designed or constructed. Successful collaboration with an informed and attentive public can lead to more socially compatible uses of water resources and to more creative, appropriate, and hence sustainable uses of technology for addressing community or regional water resource problems or needs.