The United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) is hosted and led by UNESCO. WWAP brings together the work of 31 UN-Water Members and 38 Partners to publish The United Nations World Water Development Report , (WWDR) series. The annual World Water Development Reports focus on strategic water issues. UN-Water Members and Partners, all experts in their respective fields, contribute the latest findings on a specific theme.
The 2017 edition of the World Water Development Report focuses on ‘Wastewater’ and seeks to inform decision-makers, inside and outside the water community, about the importance of managing wastewater as an undervalued and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable by-products, rather than something to be disposed of or a nuisance to be ignored.
The report’s title – Wastewater: The Untapped Resource – reflects the critical role that wastewater is poised to play in the context of a circular economy, whereby economic development is balanced with the protection of natural resources and environmental sustainability, and where a cleaner and more sustainable economy has a positive effect on the water quality. Improved wastewater management is not only critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), but also to other goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In a world where demands for freshwater are continuously growing, and where limited water resources are increasingly stressed by over-abstraction, pollution and climate change, neglecting the opportunities arising from improved wastewater management is nothing less than unthinkable.