Displaying 1-20 of 23 key documents
Source: UNESCO | March 2012
The report provides a global overview of water resources and their importance for development. It also outlines how major global changes, risks and uncertainties interact with water resources.
The report aims to encourage all stakeholders including water managers, government, civil society and businesses to engage early in decision-making about managing water to ensure successful implementation.
It consists of three volumes covering issues around managing water under uncertainty and risk; the state of knowledge about water; and facing the challenge of coping with pressures on resources. The chapters cover a range of issues including water management; regional differences and demands; and approaches for managing water under changing conditions. The report highlights the need for political, social, economic and technical changes to promote more responsible action by water users.
Source: Global Environment Facility (GEF) | March 2012
This report gives an overview of how water resources can be protected and used efficiently based on the work of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It provides examples of how the work has encouraged cooperation across sectors and national borders. Case studies cover topics including pollution control, sustainable use of water for food security, and energy security through water management.
The authors conclude with a description of initiatives that aim to improve public health through wastewater management and ecological sanitation. They suggest that cooperation towards a shared goal is needed to sustain the benefits of water systems. The report is available in English, French and Spanish.
Source: Ramsar Convention and the WHO | March 2012
The report looks at the linkages between wetlands, human health and well-being, and examines the potential of to improving health while conserving wetland ecosystems. It aims to provide advice to wetland managers and decision makers, and to facilitate dialogue between wetlands and human health experts.
The report gives an overview of how wetland ecosystems influence health — benefits such as the provision of water, as well as hazards such as exposure to infectious disease. It outlines three approaches to harnessing the benefits of wetland ecosystems for human health. These include recognising the human needs satisfied by access to wetlands, such as water, food and social cohesion; medicinal plants and other health products; and the economic value of wetlands to improving socioeconomic conditions.
The authors call for a change in wetland management perspective, better policy development, and new instruments and approaches. They recommend stronger partnerships between sectors, governments and nongovernmental organisations.
Source: UNEP | February 2012
This report describes trends in the use of key resources such as water, food and biodiversity in Asia and the Pacific, and what this means for economies. It was produced by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank and the UN Environment Programme.
The report highlights how policy has changed over the past few years, driven by rising demand for resources and by climate change, and presents data on patterns of resource-intensive growth in the region. It outlines key policy actions for sustainable economic growth; and recommends strategies to improve the resilience of societies and economies, including changes in governance. The final section highlights the report's implications for the two themes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization | December 2011
This report examines the challenges of managing water resources for agricultural use — specifically in the context of food production — in the face of a changing climate. It provides an overview of climate change impacts in different parts of the world, details options for adaptation and mitigation, and offers practical recommendations on how developing countries can cope with these impacts.
The report outlines methods to assess impacts on water and agriculture, and stresses that water and agricultural policies must be more closely aligned. It concludes with suggestions for action to help countries in carrying out such assessments and adapting agricultural water management. These include using methods such as decision analysis to improve predictions; developing and applying downscaling techniques to build capacity for better analyses and climate adaptation; and coordinating analyses of the level of investment required for different solutions.
Source: The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRU) | September 2011
This report presents 17 case studies of good practice in coastal management across island territories of the Asia-Pacific region. These illustrate examples of locally tailored, evidence-based and cost-effective actions at a local, provincial, national and regional level.
For each case study — including efforts in the Cook Islands, Fiji and the Solomon Islands — the report provides background information, intended outcomes and how they were addressed, what was achieved and lessons learned.
The report concludes that communities in the region can make progress with integrated coastal management to deal with primarily land-based threats facing coastal areas. It highlights the importance of enhancing the role of government and strengthening enabling environments; multi-sector partnerships; scaling-up small initiatives and achieving cost effectiveness; and providing information through education, awareness, monitoring or research.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) | September 2011
This report presents two case-studies that illustrate problems arising from subsidising fertiliser and electricity for groundwater irrigation in India — a policy put in place in the 1960s to boost food production and food security. It aims to analyse why subsequent reforms of these policies have done little to resolve economic and environmental problems; identify reforms that could prove successful; and outline political processes that could help achieve them.
Using India's experience, it highlights political challenges of using subsidy policies that could also be relevant to other countries.
This analysis is based on a literature review and interviews with stakeholders. The report also presents the conceptual framework, and gives an overview of fertiliser policy in India: how it has evolved, the stakeholders involved in the political process, and the policy implications of subsidy reform. Case-studies of electricity supply in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab are used to demonstrate policy reform feasibility.
The report concludes that for both electricity supply and fertiliser policies, various reforms could be adopted that are unlikely to face significant political obstacles. It argues that experimental and research-based knowledge could be used more effectively.
Source: EastWest Institute | May 2011
This report aims at encouraging increased trans-boundary cooperation in water resource management in Afghanistan and Central Asia, through a bottom-up, basin-based approach that adheres to the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
The largest river in the region, Amu Darya, is crucial for the 43 million people who live in the Aral Sea Basin — but river flow and water availability are becoming increasingly unreliable because of the impact of climate change and inefficient water management. This is a security threat heightened by an expected 50 per cent increase in the region's population by 2025, says the report.
It calls for countries that rely on the Amu Darya — Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — to follow the IWRM approach to balancing competing demands for water, build trust and share practices at the local level by training experts from different countries in joint forums, and avoid multilateral agreements that involve management mechanisms too broad to be effective.
Source: UN Environment Programme | March 2010
This report synthesises data and published studies into water quality problems and potential solutions, highlighting successful attempts to prevent pollution, treat contaminated water, and protect ecosystems.
It gives an overview of major water contaminants, such as nutrients and trace metals, and describes human activities that affect water quality, including agriculture, industry and population growth. Additional sections outline the environmental, health and economic impacts of poor water quality.
Case studies from Europe, Latin America and South Asia are used to discuss ways of improving water quality. These are followed up by key recommendations for the international community, governments, communities and households.
They include using technologies for pollution prevention and wastewater treatment; strengthening legal guidelines for pollution prevention; ensuring that good data are available and monitoring is ongoing; and building capacity for effective interventions.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report from the IPCC, provides a complete and comprehensive overview of the current knowledge and understanding of climate change. The report includes four separate documents that cover the physical science basis for climate change, projected impacts, adaptation and vulnerability of different populations, mitigation strategies, and a synthesis report for policymakers.
Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This technical paper from the IPCC provides a comprehensive overview of the impacts of climate change on water resources, including a summary of the links between climate and water resources, projected changes in the availability and accessibility of water, potential mitigation and adaptation strategies, implications for policy and gaps in our current knowledge.
This report presents the findings of the WHO's flagship Vision 2030 study. Comprised of a series of summary and technical papers and fact sheets, the Vision 2030 report provides a comprehensive overview of current and projected climate change and its potential impacts on drinking-water and sanitation systems. The report also points to solutions to improve the resilience of infrastructure and services to predicted changes in rainfall.
Source: International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
This book, published by IWMI, evaluates the benefits, costs and impacts of water development over the past 50 years. The authors highlight challenges still facing poor countries today and outline some of the solutions people have adopted. The assessment is available as a summary, with specific policy recommendations, or in individual chapters covering topics ranging from integration and institutional reform to improvements in irrigation and groundwater use.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
This report, published to mark World Water Day 2007, reviews the multiple dimensions of water scarcity including increasing demand, competition and conflict and climate change. The authors consider opportunities for improving the efficiency of water use, suggesting the need to increase investments in water, value environmental services and build awareness of water scarcity among the general public.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute | June 2010
This report investigates large dams and small-scale irrigation investment opportunities in Africa. It aims to inform national and community-led efforts to assess irrigation potential and tailor solutions to local contexts. It suggests, for example, that Mali would benefit most from small-scale irrigation, while the Gulf of Guinea has the greatest potential for expanding dams within the continent.
Source: International Water Management Institute | January 2010
This report considers strategies to help the Greater Mekong Subregion in South-East Asia meet food demands in the face of climate change. The authors predict likely effects of climate change on agriculture in the region and make recommendations to cope with these, including improving water efficiency and promoting broad-based agricultural development to reduce poverty.
Source: The Henry L. Stimson Center | January 2010
This report presents a collection of regional perspectives that examine the environmental threats to the Indian Ocean's coastal areas, including sea level rise and storm surges, and explore the challenges facing decision makers, including limited funding and poor institutional infrastructure. The authors present opportunities for technological innovation and discuss how policies must integrate multiple sectors while reflecting local needs.
Source: Arab Forum for Environment and Development | December 2009
This report identifies the major impacts of climate change in the Arab world and outlines potential adaptation measures for the region. It aims to inform and shape climate change policy in the Arab world. Dwindling water resources, sea level rise, reduced food production, deteriorating biodiversity and declining tourism are highlighted as particular areas of concern.
Source: UN Environment Programme and Stockholm Environment Institute | December 2009
This report examines the role of rainwater harvesting in promoting human well-being and environmental health. The authors argue that rainwater harvesting improves groundwater supplies, livelihoods and economies. They present case studies including floriculture in Kenya, farmer benefits in Mauritania and rainfed agriculture in India. The report suggests improving land rights, providing subsidies and encouraging capacity building.
Source: Meridian Institute | October 2006
This paper from the Meridian Institute describes a range of well-known and field-tested conventional approaches to removing contaminants from water as well as the current crop of nanotechnologies that could enhance existing — or develop new — water treatment technologies.
For each approach or potential product the authors give a short description of what it is and who has developed it, and report on the product's effectiveness in removing contaminants, the amount of water it can treat, and its cost and ease of use. They also include summary comparative charts of conventional versus nano-based treatments.
Conventional approaches covered include various types of filters, ultraviolet radiation, chemical treatment and desalination. Nano-based water treatments covered include carbon nanotube-based technologies, nanofiltration membranes and devices, nanoporous materials and clays, zeolites, nanocatalysts and magnetic nanoparticles.