Water is a unique and non-substitutable resource of limited quantity. As the foundation of life, societies and economies, it carries multiple values and benefits. But unlike most other valuable resources, it has proven extremely difficult to determine its true ‘value’.
The 2021 World Water Development Report on “Valuing Water” assesses the current status of, and challenges to, the valuation of water across different sectors and perspectives, and identifies ways in which valuation can be promoted as a tool to help achieve sustainability.
- Water has multiple values.
- Approaches to valuing water vary widely across – and even within – different user dimensions and perspectives.
- The failure to fully value water in all in its different uses is considered a root cause, or a symptom, of the political neglect of water and its mismanagement.
- Recognizing, measuring and expressing water’s multiple values, and incorporating these into decision-making processes, are fundamental to achieving sustainable and equitable water resources management.
UN-Water members that contributed to the UN World Water Development Report 2021