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The United Nations World Water Development Report 2003

Water for People, Water for Life

image of The United Nations World Water Development Report 2003

WWDR1 is targeted to all those involved in the formulation and implementation of water-related policies and investment strategies, as well as to professionals at all levels. Although it offers a broad global picture, it focuses particularly on the situation in developing countries, where the need for better infrastructure and governance is highest. With this report, WWAP is aiming to show where systems are failing, and to provide the information needed for efficient and effective capacity-building throughout the world. This 1st edition of the WWDR laid the foundation for subsequent editions, concentrating essentially on evaluating what progress has been made, and not made, since the Rio Summit and on developing effective assessment methodologies. The Report encompasses a broad range of components, focusing on human stewardship of freshwater, that complex aggregation of policies, legislation, social programmes, economic approaches and management strategies through which we seek to achieve water sustainability.

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Cities: Competing needs in an Urban environment

CITIES SHARE MANY SIMILARITIES WITH NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS. They are dynamic, generating and recycling energy and waste, and responding to the interrelated cycles of needs, uses and demands of the institutions and people who live their lives within an urban environment. Cities are the future. The great migrations of people from rural to urban areas all over the world are proof of their power to attract and dazzle with their promise of a better life. Yet in this chapter we learn that half the urban population in Africa, Asia and Latin America suffers one or more diseases associated with inadequate water and sanitation. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized that when infrastructure and services are lacking, cities are among the planet’s most threatening environments. Among the urban population of low-income countries, one child in six dies before the age of five. Gathering reliable data about water and sanitation in cities is extremely tricky, but indications are that targets are far from being met and enormous work remains to be done. Better management of resources in and around cities is therefore a major challenge the world over.

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