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ESCWA Water Development Report 3

Role of Desalination in Addressing Water Scarcity

image of ESCWA Water Development Report 3
There is a growing concern among the international community that a pending water crisis is threatening the entire global population, not only those living in arid to semi-arid areas. This Report, the second in the series of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR), gives and overview of the water resources in the ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) region based on the most recent data and information obtained from member countries. The state of water resources in the region is analyzed and assessed on the basis of data and indicators selected from available information and within the context of integrated water resources management (IWRM). The Report provides a comprehensive summary of the current situation of water resources in each member country in term of availability, accessibility and sustainability.

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Review of water resources: Supply and demand

The water supply and demand balance in most ESCWA member countries is in serious deficit. Countries in the region that are not already facing a water balance deficit are steadily heading towards that direction. The availability of conventional water resources is affected by growing water demands and the deterioration of surface and groundwater quality. Moreover, studies indicate that climate change pressures are further exacerbating the situation. In order to meet this deficit, ESCWA member countries can manage their existing water resources more efficiently through demand side management tools or by increasing their supply of freshwater through the development of conventional and non-conventional water resources. A combination of both water supply and demand side options is often pursued in order to fill the gap in the water balance.

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