The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015

Volume I - Water for a Sustainable World; Volume II - Facing the Challenges, Case Studies and Indicators

image of The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015

The 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable World, was launched at the official celebration of the World Water Day, on March 20. The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, the report’s forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the modern world will affect – and can be affected by – water resources, services and related benefits. The report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend-related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy-makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.

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Challenges to freshwater security in the Pacific Small Island Developing States:Focus on saltwater intrusion in Samoa

Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are facing mounting challenges to protect and efficiently manage their limited freshwater resources. There are many facets to ensuring freshwater security in SIDS, which the Samoa case study illustrates. Among these, saltwater intrusion into aquifers stemming from climate change and human-related causes is emerging as a critical challenge. Although they are broadly acknowledged, gaps in data prevent a reliable and detailed assessment of the country’s current vulnerability to this problem and its extent. In response, the integrated water management and governance frameworks have been significantly improved. However, the complex setting, where traditional and legal structures are intertwined, and fragmented water governance hinder the decision-making process. The scale of future water-related challenges will depend on how well the current commitments set in national strategy documents are translated into actions and on better enforcement of legislation. Investment and enhancement of human and technical capacity related to water science and resources assessment and sustaining national public awareness campaigns need to be considered key priorities in this process.

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