Human Development Report 2006

Beyond Scarcity – Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crises

image of Human Development Report 2006
The 2006 Human Development Report focuses on water and human development. Water is central to the realization of human potential. It is a source of life for people and for the planet. Clean water and sanitation have a profound bearing on health and human dignity. Inequalities in access to clean water for drinking and to water as a productive input, reinforce wider inequalities in opportunity. With competition for water intensifying, there is a danger that poor and vulnerable communities will become increasingly marginalized. The twin challenge facing governments and donors is to accelerate progress towards universal access to water and sanitation; and to ensure that water management policies strengthen the rights of poor households to access water resources.



Water scarcity, risk and vulnerability

Human security means having protection against unpredictable events that disrupt lives and livelihoods. Few resources have a more critical bearing on human security than water. As a productive resource, water is essential in maintaining the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people. But water also has destructive properties, as witnessed by storms and floods. Security in access to water as a productive input and protection against the vulnerabilities associated with uncertainty in water flows is one of the keys to human development.


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