The United Nations World Water Development Report, released every year with a focus on different strategic water issues each year, is the UN’s flagship report on water. It is a comprehensive review that gives an overall picture of the state of the world's freshwater resources and aims to provide decision-makers with the tools to implement sustainable use of our water.
This flagship report is a comprehensive review that gives an overall picture of the world’s freshwater resources. It analyses pressures from decisions that drive demand for water and affect its availability. It offers tools and response options to help leaders in government, the private sector and civil society address current and future challenges. It suggests ways in which institutions can be reformed and their behaviour modified, and explores possible sources of financing for the urgently needed investment in water.
The WWDR4 is a milestone within the WWDR series, reporting directly on regions and highlighting hotspots, and it has been mainstreamed for gender equality. It introduces a thematic approach – ‘Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk’ – in the context of a world which is changing faster than ever in often unforeseeable ways, with increasing uncertainties and risks. It highlights that historical experience will no longer be sufficient to approximate the relationship between the quantities of available water and shifting future demands. Like the earlier editions, the WWDR4 also contains country-level case studies describing the progress made in meeting water-related objectives.
The WWDR4 also seeks to show that water has a central role in all aspects of economic development and social welfare, and that concerted action via a collective approach of the water-using sectors is needed to ensure water’s many benefits are maximized and shared equitably and that water-related development goals are achieved.