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The United Nations World Water Development Report 2006

Water - A Shared Responsibility

image of The United Nations World Water Development Report 2006

The Report builds on the conclusions of the 1st United Nations World Water Development Report 'Water for People, Water for Life' published in 2003. It presents a comprehensive picture of freshwater resources in all regions and most countries of the world as it tracks progress towards the water-related targets of the UN Millennium Development Goals and examines a range of key issues including population growth and increasing urbanization, changing ecosystems, food production, health, industry and energy, as well as risk management, valuing and paying for water and increasing knowledge and capacity. Sixteen case studies look at typical water resource challenges and provide valuable insights into different facets of the water crisis and management responses. Finally, the report outlines a set of conclusions and recommendations to guide future action and encourage sustainable use, productivity and management of our increasingly scarce freshwater resources. WWDR2 is aimed at a wide audience, including all those interested or directly involved in the formulation and implementation of water-related policies, as well as managers, researchers, teachers, students and, of course, water users themselves.

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Foreword

Water is an essential life-sustaining element. It pervades our lives and is deeply embedded in our cultural backgrounds. The basic human needs of a secure food supply and freedom from disease depend on it. Social development – endeavours such as the smooth functioning of hospitals – likewise relies on the availability of clean water. Economic development requires energy resources and industrial activities, and both are in turn water-dependent. The provision of sanitation for girls in schools offers yet another example of water’s broader links – it has positive effects on hygiene and health, keeps girls in school, and helps to safeguard the natural environment. For these reasons and many more, access to safe drinking water and sanitation is both a development target in its own right and integrally linked to achieving all the Millennium Development Goals.

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