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The United Nations World Water Development Report 2012

Volume I - Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk; Volume II - Knowledge Base; Volume III - Facing the Challenges

image of The United Nations World Water Development Report 2012

The fourth edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR4), ‘Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk’ is a comprehensive review of the world's freshwater resources and seeks to demonstrate, among other messages, that water underpins all aspects of development, and that a coordinated approach to managing and allocating water is critical. The Report underlines that in order to meet multiple goals water needs to be an intrinsic element in decision-making across the whole development spectrum. It was launched at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and Michel Jarraud, UN-Water Chair.

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Beyond demand: Water’s social and environmental benefits

The many benefits humans derive through water are by no means limited to the five major use sectors described in Water also provides a range of benefits through its impacts on human health. Healthy ecosystems provide an even broader array of benefits and services to individuals and societies. In addition to these benefits, water can also create serious risks when there is too much of it, as in the case of floods, or too little of it, as during periods of drought, especially in areas already subject to the processes of desertification and land degradation. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, access to water’s benefits are not equitably balanced, nor are vulnerabilities to water-related hazards, which disproportionally affect the poorest populations, and women and children in particular. This chapter examines water in relation to each of these important issues.

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