Water will be the key to power and wealth in the 21st Century as the natural resource becomes more important than fuel. The Mayor of Valladolid, attending an international Palma conference on the importance of water for the development and quality of life, said yesterday that water will take over from fuel as the most valuable and needed natural resource. Mayors from across Spain and South America are attending the Palma conference and the Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, said yesterday that the summit has been organised to discuss “one of the problems which most concerns modern society.” This year the Balearics witnessed the water crisis reach its climax and the lack of water created a divide, fuelled by the politicians, between the local population and the millions of tourists who visit the region every year. Reports of the water crisis and the drought in the European media have been blamed for the decrease in the German tourist industry, thus substantiating the natural resource's true importance and value. The Mayor of Murcia told delegates that unless water is made a prime concern, for the immediate and the long term future, the economic effects on certain areas of Spain could be disastrous. Not only the tourist industry but all areas of the economy will suffer knock-on effects. Social and urban development will be brought to a near halt if effective water management programmes are not introduced and adhered to.