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.
Of all development projects altering natural aquatic systems that are critical to indigenous peoples, mining and the construction of hydropower infrastructure are the most conflict-ridden. Over the past decades, very few of water-related conflicts involving indigenous communities have transitioned to a full cooperative agreement between the parties. The number and intensity of these conflicts are substantial, and have even increased over the last two decades.
These are a few of the conclusions of a global mapping study of water-related conflicts reported around the world between 1960 and 2014, conducted by the Water Governance Facility. The study shows that impacts of energy- and mining-related projects on water resources are an important threat to the fulfilment of the basic rights and wellbeing of many indigenous communities, which translate all too often into violent episodes with loss of human lives. Water conflicts involving indigenous peoples have also severe economic impacts, since one third of disputed operations had to be cancelled or renegotiated.
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