Every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation yields gains, on average, of $4-$12, depending on the type of intervention.
Almost one-tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources. Such improvements reduce child mortality and improve health and nutritional status in a sustainable way. Read more
Water bodies have attracted human settlements for thousands of years and, as a result of that draw, humans have altered not only coastlines, but also rivers, lakes and wetlands.
While coastal – and inland/freshwater – fishery harvests have continued to expand due to aquaculture, most of these ecosystems are stressed by overfishing, habitat loss and degradation, the introduction and presence of invasive species, pollution and the disruption of river flows by dams and other diversions.
Developed countries account for a quarter of the world’s irrigated area (67 million hectares). Annual growth of irrigated area peaked 3% in the 1970s and dropped down to only 0.2% in the 1990s
In Asia, almost 84% of the water withdrawal is used for agricultural purposes, compared to 71% for the world
The Indian subcontinent and Eastern Asia have the highest level of water withdrawal for agriculture with 92% and 77% respectively
The guide explains how the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes helps countries to curb water pollution, restore and conserve water-related ecosystems, prevent conflicts over scarce resources, and ensure that international rivers are well managed so that future generations, too, will be able to extract clean water from them.
The Convention was recently amended to enable UN Member States not members of the UNECE to sign up to it and benefit from the experience acquired in UNECE. To raise awareness about the Convention around the globe, this guide has been translated into all the official languages of the United Nations with the help of the Environment Ministries of Italy, Spain and Switzerland.