In 2015, the global community launched the 2030 Agenda, with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that should be reached by 2030. Some progress has been made, but for most of the goals, the world is not on track to meet the deadline. Water can help us do better.
Groundwater is the regulator of the entire freshwater cycle, but its invisibility makes it difficult to manage and protect.
Many of the most pressing challenges in the world are about water: too little, too much or too inferior. Such challenges can only be effectively addressed through adequate governance of available water resources.
Water is a growing concern in many parts of the world. Countries can improve their water resilience through transboundary water cooperation over shared waters.
The climate crisis is essentially a water crisis. When we treat it as such, we get new tools to mitigate climate change and adapt to consequences that are unavoidable.
Insufficient supply and inadequate infrastructure leaves millions of people in the world without water.
How to increase the productivity of agriculture around the world through better water management.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has pushed millions of people back into poverty and exposed unacceptable gaps between the rich and the poor. One in three people are still not able to wash their hands with soap and water at home.
Will future wars be fought over water? The answer is probably no, but water scarcity can contribute to conflicts.
Indigenous peoples are the custodians of many of the world’s most fragile and important ecosystems. They also possess invaluable knowledge about sustainability and resilience, so they have a vital role in protecting our environment.
The source-to-sea approach focuses on the strong connection between what happens on land, along waterways, and in the sea.
A growing number of people, societies and companies are discovering the power of resilient landscapes. It is still possible to shift to more sustainable practices that recharge water, restore soil health, sequester carbon, and strengthen biodiversity – but we need to make the transformation now.
More than two billion people in the world lack safely managed drinking water and twice as many lack safely managed sanitation, making WASH one of the most urgent development challenges.
More and more young people offer important contributions to solving the growing water challenges they are inheriting.
Having access to water and sanitation has been recognized as a human right since 2010. But water is also essential to ensuring the fulfilment of many other rights.
The lack of coordination between Water Resources Management (WRM) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and the resulting institutional fragmentation impedes progress on Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) towards sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. This report proposes a framework that can be used to improve cooperation between WRM and WASH, illustrated with examples and case studies.
Policy and institutional fragmentation poses significant challenges to efficient water management, often leading to conflicts among water resource users and hindering equitable access. Overlapping mandates and gaps in governance result in missed opportunities and inefficient use of resources.
To address these challenges, it is crucial to establish coordinated and integrated water management frameworks that bring together diverse stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society, private sector actors, and communities. Such frameworks can facilitate the sharing of information and expertise, promote transparency and accountability, and foster equitable and inclusive decision-making processes. The framework in this report is structured around five joint outcomes and 18 cooperation areas that offer tangible entry points to prompt cooperative action towards achieving the joint outcomes.
The cooperation and alignment between WASH and WRM are necessary, need to be scaled up, and require commitment and strong leadership. By promoting cooperation, coordination, and alignment of policies and regulations, we can achieve more efficient, equitable, and sustainable management of water resources while minimizing conflicts and enhancing protection against water hazards.
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