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Managing Water Under Uncertainty and Risk: Executive Summary

Cover of the WWDR4 executive summary, PDF

The fourth edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR4), published in March 2012, is a milestone within the WWDR series. In Volume 1, it introduces a thematic approach – ‘Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk’ – in the context of a world which is changing faster than ever in often unforeseeable ways, with increasing uncertainties and risks. In Volume 2, ‘Knowledge Base’, contributions from UN-Water members serve to build a comprehensive review of regional and challenge area issues surrounding the world’s freshwater resources. Like the earlier editions, the WWDR4 also contains, in Volume 3, ‘Facing the Challenges’, country-level case studies describing the progress made in meeting water-related objectives.

The WWDR4 seeks to offer leaders in government, the private sector and civil society tools and response options to address current and future challenges related to the pressures driving demand for water and affecting its availability. The WWDR4, which for the first time has been mainstreamed for gender, also seeks to show that water has a central role in all aspects of economic development and social welfare, and that concerted action via a collective approach of the water-using sectors is needed to ensure water’s many benefits are maximized and shared equitably and that water-related development goals are achieved.

This Executive Summary is an encapsulated view of the key issues from the WWDR4, presented in the same chapter structure as for Volume 1 to assist orientation. It provides readers with a preview to the in-depth discussion and supporting material around these issues they can anticipate in the parent report, which can be viewed as a reference work.

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