It’s too bad UN-Water didn’t make it in our initial Google results for “water” (it’s the 64th result) because if you have a few minutes and a desire to understand the global water situation, the links to all the information you need are on one page.
In addition to their statistics page, UN-Water has three flagship publications:
- World Water Development Report [PDF]
- Joint Monitoring Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation Report [PDF]
- Global Annual Assessment on Sanitation and Drinking-Water [PDF]
What’s the story? From skimming 500 pages of pdfs, it was largely what you’d expect. Developing countries are making progress, but have a long way to go. Increasing populations, advancing economies, climate change and lack of information, communication and funding are just a few of the factors involved. Billions of people are still without the basics and while Africa and Asia house the areas furthest behind, there’s plenty of trouble spots in the most developed of countries and economies.
Although the challenges are great, it is important to remember that this is not a problem in search of a solution. For the most part, it is a lame-duck problem waiting for the implementation of solutions already in hand. That’s why the World Water Development Report focuses our attention on decision-making:
That’s the finish line for this week’s water sprint. Next steps include digging into some country-level data, where we’ll really start to see what the hold-up is, and updating/expanding on our first water map.