Water resources management

The world depends heavily on freshwater resources to sustain life and livelihoods, and as a buffer against poverty, malnutrition, disease and conflict. With climate change expected to affect rainfall patterns, some areas will experience droughts more frequently, while others may see water supplies compromised by rising seas. Low income countries that rely on rain-fed agriculture to sustain populations are particularly vulnerable.

To cope with increased demand for water – for agriculture, industry, sanitation, and household needs – at a time when water supplies are under threat from climate change, governments are encouraged to engage in integrated water resources management. The goal is to ensure an adequate supply of water of good quality for all while preserving the integrity of environmental services provided by ecosystems, including water purification, flood prevention and control.

DESA advises countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on integrated water resources management and, among other things, provides expertise to utility operators on the effective management of water resources. DESA also functions as the secretariat of UN-Water, a group that coordinates international action, and supports the Water for Life decade, a campaign that promotes efforts to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

 

Case studies


  • 2007 - Combating Desertification in Pakistan
    Summary:
    This case study is about a long term programme of Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (SCOPE) which initiated in 1991, with advocacy efforts against commercial sand mining in Malir ...
  • 2006 - Urban Water: Contributing to the Goals from Johannesburg
    Summary:
    A prerequisite for Urban Water systems analysis is to adopt a definition of an urban water management system that includes the technical structure, the organisation and the users of the system. To tac...
  • 2006 - At a Watershed: Reforms in the Water Provision of Azerbaijan
    Summary:
    Switzerland's involvement in the water sector in Azerbaijan consisted of a grant to rebuild booster pumping stations in the Baku area. These stations provide sufficient pressure for water to reach a...
  • 2006 - Regional Water Supply System
    Summary:
    The characteristics of this Regional Water Supplying System are that it covers two river catchments, 20 local self-government units, with approximately 70.000 people, who are with different ethnical b...
  • 2006 - Integrated Management of Water and Sanitation
    Summary:
    Israel is focusing special attention on addressing unique environmental problems that relate to the salination of municipal sewage, which is a major problem due to the country's need to use reclaime...
  • 2006 - Comprehensive Water Quality Management and Watershed Management
    Summary:
    - Adoption of Total Pollution Load Management System - Introduction of Water Use Charges and Watershed Management Funds (as based on the user-pays principle) Some elements of the impact can be sum...
  • 2006 - La Bahia de la Habana y sus cuencas tributarias: alivio de su contaminacion, resultados y
    Summary:
    Institucionalidad: Para revertir el deterioro ambiental y mejorar el entorno de la bahia, el Gobierno cubano creo el Grupo de Trabajo Estatal para el Saneamiento, Conservacion y Desarrollo de la Bahia...
  • 2006 - Czech Way To Improve Water Qualtiy
    Summary:
    The systemic changes were reflected in improved management of water (e.g. withdrawals of water decreased in the 1990-1999 period by 88 % in agriculture, by 47 % in industry, and by 34 % in public wate...
  • 2006 - Commitments-Related Best Practice or Lessons Learned in Water
    Summary:
    In 1994-95, the Council of Australian Governments adopted the Water Reform Framework, whereby all jurisdictions committed to a strategic framework designed to create an economically efficient and ecol...
 

Partnerships


  • International Renewable Energy Alliance
    Lead Partner:
    International Solar Energy Society  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The goal of IREA is to foster collaboration, removing market barriers, identifying and promoting successful implementation strategies, enhancing business conditions and developing markets. This is to be achieved by the provision of reliable and up to date facts and considerations for more informed decision making at all levels of national and international policy and to further the principles and...
  • Mediaterre - Global information system on sustainable development
    Lead Partner:
    International Center of Resources and Innovation for the Sustainable Development-CIRIDD (former Association Agora 21) - Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (IEPF - Institut de la Francophonie Numérique - Unité Jeunesse)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The aim of the project is to create an information and discussion platform for sustainable development that is accessible to the various groups concerned (States and public administrations, local governments and international bodies, associations, the economic sector, scientists and the academic community, and ordinary citizens) by facilitating exchanges and integration of the available data on a ...
  • Dams and Development Project (DDP)
    Lead Partner:
    UNEP - Dams and Development Project (DDP)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    To promote improved decision-making, planning and management of dams and their alternatives building on World Commission on Dams (WCD) core values and strategic priorities and other relevant reference materials. Through supporting multi-stakeholder dialogues at country-level, regional and global levels on improving decision making on dams and their alternatives with the aim of engaging all stakeho...
  • Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), The
    Lead Partner:
    The EOLSS Publishers Ltd. - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), EOLSS Joint Committee  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), the world biggest web-based archive as transdisciplinary knowledge base of sustainable development. It is, in fact, a global partnership among thousands of scholars aimed at creating an integrated knowledge base in support of sustainable development efforts. Thus, the EOLSS Project is a project in support of all other projects related to sustainab...
  • Partnership for Water Education & Research (PoWER)
    Lead Partner:
    UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The mission of the Partnership for Water Education and Research (PoWER) is to combine the strengths of all partners and enhance the capacity of each partner in order jointly to: - Deliver capable professionals in the water and environment sectors. - Find innovative solutions for water and environmental challenges. - Build up the capacity of institutions and communities with respect to better ...
  • Scientific Capacity Building for Sustainable Development in Developing Countries (CAPaBLE)
    Lead Partner:
    Government of Japan - Ministry of the Environment  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The Scientific Capacity Building and Enhancement for Sustainable Development in Developing Countries (CAPaBLE) Programme is a concrete initiative introduced by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan and Hyogo Prefecture Government, Japan to specifically realize parts 107 to 114 of the Plan of Implementation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), and was registered as a WSSD Type I...
  • West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI)
    Lead Partner:
    WAWI Secretariat  
    Geographical Scope:
    Sub-regional West Africa 
    Summary:
    The West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI) will work with communities and governments in Ghana, Mali, and Niger: 1) To increase the access to sustainable, safe water and environmental sanitation for poor and vulnerable communities in rural and peri-urban settings. 2) To reduce the prevalence of water-borne and sanitation-related diseases, particularly trachoma, guinea worm and diarrheal diseases th...
  • International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN)
    Lead Partner:
    International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) - International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN)  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The main objective of ICRAN is to halt and reverse the decline in health of the world 's coral reefs. ICRAN is an innovative and dynamic global partnership of many of the world's leading coral reef science and conservation organizations. The partnership draws on its partners' investments in reef monitoring and management to create strategically linked actions across local, national and global scal...
  • My Community, Our Earth (MyCOE) - Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development
    Lead Partner:
    Association of American Geographers  
    Geographical Scope:
    Global 
    Summary:
    The general goal of My Community, Our Earth -- Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development is to build geographically literate generations able to use this knowledge in their everyday lives to bring about true sustainable development. In particular, the Program seeks to provide students and international leaders with the opportunity to discover and address real issues in their communities and...
  • The Global Rain Water Harvesting Collective
    Lead Partner:
    The Barefoot College  
    Geographical Scope:
    National 
    Summary:
    The Global Rain Harvesting Collective (GRWHC) has been established is to provide drinking water to schools facing an acute shortage all over the world, through roof top rain water harvesting in schools. Rural communities all over the world have been collecting rainwater where it falls from time immemorial. In their fields, in open tanks and in traditional open wells. It was a technology that was ...