4th World Water Development Report Launched

UNESCO12 March 2012: The 4th World Water Development Report (WWDR-4) was launched during the 6th World Water Forum. The report highlights the need to recognize water as a critical resource and underlines the global dimensions of its management, including climate change as a “central external driver” affecting water and demands for water use.

The report was launched by Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and UN-Water Chair Michel Jarraud on 12 March. The WWDR-4 has been published in three volumes: Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk; Knowledge Base; and Facing the Challenges.

Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk, volume one of WWDR-4, provides an overview of status trends and challenges, including drivers of water consumption, water resource variability, water's social and environmental benefits, water management, institutions and capacity development, moving from raw data to informed decisions, and regional challenges. Part two of the first volume addresses working under uncertainty and managing risk, including risk and uncertainties associated with the key drivers, the problem of undervaluing water, transforming management institutions to deal with change, investment and financing for a sustainable future, and responses to risks and uncertainties, including through mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The Knowledge Base, volume two of WWDR-4, provides status reports of challenge areas and regional reports. It addresses challenge areas such as quantity, quality, human settlements, managing water along livestock value chains, the energy-water nexus, freshwater for industry, allocating water, valuing water, water infrastructure, developing knowledge and capacity, water related-disasters, and desertification and drought. The regional reports highlight regional issues, effects of external drivers, principal risks, uncertainties and opportunities, geographical hotspots, and responses.

Facing the Challenges, volume three of WWDR-4, presents 15 case studies showcasing national efforts, as well as efforts at the river basin levels, from throughout the world, including: the Mara River basin shared by Kenya and Tanzania; Jordan; Pakistan, with reference to the Indus River basin; the Tiber River basin, in Italy; the St Johns River basin, in the USA; and Costa Rica. The case studies highlight challenges such as increases in the number of water-related disasters due to climate change and the importance of increased cooperation among countries especially on transboundary water resources. [UNESCO Press Release]  [WWDR-4 Volume 1: Managing Water Under Uncertainty and Risk] [WWDR-4 Volume 2: Knowledge Base] [WWDR-4 Volume 3: Facing the Challenges]