Increasing pressure on water resources, says UN report 2009

20 March 2009

Increased demand linked to population growth and mobility, to evolving consumption and higher energy needs, and to the tangible effects of climate change are putting additional pressure on the worlds water resources, according to the Third United Nations World Water Development Report was launched during the Fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul (Turkey), 16 to 22 March.

The work entitled Water in a Changing World represents the most comprehensive assessment of global freshwater resources to date. Starting from the conclusions of the first two reports presented, respectively, in Kyoto (Japan) in 2003 and Mexico City in 2006, the latest edition emphasizes the role played by water in development and economic growth. It also examines a range of subjects, including population growth, climate change, altered ecosystems, food production, health, industry and energy, as well as biofuels and the importance of underground aquifers.

This document is part of a global assessment project to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. In its United Nations Millennium Declaration, adopted in 2000, the international community made commitments to reduce by half, between 2000 and 2015, the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and to end the irrational use of water resources.

Coordinated by the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), the report is the result of a joint effort by the 24 United Nations agencies and entities that make up UN-Water. It is produced every three years by the WWAP, whose secretariat is hosted by UNESCO. This third edition will be officially presented at the opening of the Istanbul Forum by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, on behalf of the agencies of the United Nations.

The major findings of the Report will be highlighted at a round table on 26 March 2009 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

English version of the Report

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