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World Water Development Report-2015
Mar 23, 2015

The 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable World, has been launched at the official celebration of the World Water Day (22 March), in New Delhi.

The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, the report’s forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the modern world will affect–and can be affected by–water resources, services and related benefits.

Highlights of the Report

  • In 2000 India had nearly 19 million mechanised or tubewells, compared to less than a million in 1960. This technological revolution has played an important role in the country’s efforts to combat poverty, but the ensuing development of irrigation has, in turn, resulted in significant water stress in some regions of the country, such as Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

  • Many underground water reserves are already running low, while rainfall patterns are predicted to become more erratic with climate change. As the world’s population grows to an expected nine billion by 2050, more groundwater will be needed for farming, industry and personal consumption.

  • In many countries, including India, water use is largely unregulated and often wasteful. Pollution of water is often ignored and unpunished. At least 80 per cent of India’s population relies on groundwater for drinking to avoid bacteria-infested surface waters.

  • The world is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource.

  • Currently, about 748 million people worldwide have poor access to clean drinking water.

  • The report stresses the urgent need to change the way we use and manage this vital resource. Water directly influences our future, so we need to change the way we assess, manage and use this resource in the face of ever-rising demand and the over exploitation of our groundwater reserves.

  • If current usage trends don’t change, the world will have only 60 per cent of the water it needs in 2030.

  • Having less available water, risks catastrophe on many fronts: crops could fail, eco-systems could break down, industries could collapse, disease and poverty could worsen, and violent conflicts over access to water could become more frequent.

  • There is already international consensus that water and sanitation are essential to the achievement of many sustainable development goals. They are inextricably linked to climate change, agriculture, food security, health, energy, equality, gender and education. 

  • The report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend‐related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy‐makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.


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