World Water Development Report 4

Electronic copies of the 3 volumes of the 4th edition of the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR4) is now available for download at the UNSECO web page at http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/wwdr/wwdr4-2012/. Publication information about the report describes the WWDR4 as a milestone in the World Water Development Report (WWDR) series. “While providing a comprehensive assessment of the world’s water resources it also introduces a strong thematic element. Building on the WWDR3 in the recognition of the externalities, the WWDR4 elaborates on the interactions between water and the drivers of change. The WWDR4 describes the major changes, uncertainties, and risks taking place in the world and their links to water resources. It gives account of the status and the trends related to water supplies, uses, management, institutions and financing; highlights regional hotspots, and addresses issues such as gender equality, water-related disasters, health and the role of ecosystems.”

The 15 march 2012 issue of Nature gives a summary of some of the report findings in graphical visualisations which make the WWDR4 data easy to read. This article is available online at http://www.nature.com/news/water-under-pressure-1.10216. Some fast facts:

The Top 7 Global Water Consumers
1. India – 13%
2. China – 12%
3. U.S. – 9%
4. Russia – 4%
5. Indonesia – 4%
6. Nigeria – 3%
7. Brazil – 3%

Some good news about water consumption, “in general water demands in developed countries have been declining during the past 20 years, mostly as a result of more efficients use of water resources.”

Agriculture consumes almost 70% of all extracted water.

Non-renewable underground sources are becoming the most sought method to meet water demands. 

The authors of the report also highlight that “lack of reliable data on water quality and usage has become a stumbling block for efforts to strengthen policies and enforce regulations.” Due to high costs associated with good quality data collection, the report recommends “increasing use of remote-sensing technologies to monitor water quality”.

Gilbert, Natasha. Water under pressure. NatureVolume: 483,Pages:256–257 Date published:() DOI:doi:10.1038/483256a

 

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