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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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Governing water wisely for sustainable development

As the world is changing, so must our ideas about water problems and their place in the broader picture of human development and needs. Perhaps the greatest shift has occurred in our emerging appreciation of the key role that governance plays. Yes, water is unevenly distributed, with some areas having too much and others not enough. Yes, there are issues of water quality and competition among users. But as this chapter illustrates, good management – that includes integrated and participatory approaches – can go a long way towards attenuating the water crisis. Many encouraging examples are given. These suggest that dynamic new partnerships are forming, preventive actions are being taken and effective institutional and regulatory frameworks are being put in place at levels ranging from the local community on up to central government.

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