The UN World Water Development Report released

Twenty-three U.N. agencies and convention secretariats have combined their efforts and expertise to produce a comprehensive and up-to-date report on the state of the world's freshwater resources.

March 12, 2003 -- For the first time, 23 United Nations agencies and convention secretariats have combined their efforts and expertise to produce a comprehensive and up-to-date report on the state of the world's freshwater resources.

The World Water development report was presented to the media recently in Tokyo. The first edition of this report, Water for People, Water for Life, will be launched on World Water Day (March 22nd) at the Third World Water Forum (click here to learn more) in Kyoto, Japan.

To read the executive summary of the report, click here.

Measuring progress since Rio

The World Water Development Report is part of an ongoing assessment project to measure progress towards achieving the goal of sustainable development formulated at Rio in 1992, and the targets set down in the UN Millennium Declaration of 2000. The international community pledged:

* to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to reach, or to afford, safe drinking water; and

* to stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources, by developing water management strategies at the regional, national and local levels, which promote both equitable access and adequate supplies.

How far have we come towards meeting these targets? Perhaps more importantly, how far have we yet to go, and what can we do to hasten our way? Ten years after Rio, it is time to take stock.

The targeted audience

The WWDR is targeted to all those involved in the formulation and implementation of water-related policies and investment strategies, as well as to professionals at all levels. Although it offers a broad global picture, it focuses particularly on the situation in developing countries, where the need for better infrastructure and governance is highest.

With this report, WWAP is aiming to show where systems are failing, and to provide the information needed for efficient and effective capacity-building throughout the world.

This first edition of the WWDR lays the foundation for subsequent editions, concentrating essentially on evaluation what progress has been made, and not made, since the Rio Summit and on developing effective assessment methodologies.

The report encompasses a broad range of components, focusing on human stewardship of freshwater, that complex aggregation of policies, legislation, social programmes, economic approaches and management strategies through which we seek to achieve water sustainability.

Contents of the Report

Generously illustrated with more than 25 full-colour global maps, numerous figures (diagrams, pie-charts), tables (including country tables) and photos, the report opens with a chapter describing the water crisis. It then:

* Reviews progress and trends.
* Proposes methodologies and indicators for measuring sustainability.
* Assesses progress in 11 challenge areas, including: health, food, environment, shared water resources, cities, industry, energy, risk management, knowledge, valuing water and governance.
* Presents seven pilot case studies of river basins representing various social, economic and environmental settings.

For further information about sales price, date of publication and where to obtain the different language editions of the World Water Development Report, please continue to check WWAP website for updates.

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