The 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR 2020) entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’ aims at helping the water community to tackle the challenges of climate change and informing the climate change community about the opportunities that improved water management offers in terms of adaptation and mitigation.
The scientific evidence is clear: the climate is changing and will continue to change, affecting societies mainly through water. Climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of water for basic human needs, threatening the effective enjoyment of the human rights to water and sanitation for potentially billions of people. The alteration of the water cycle will also pose risks for energy production, food security, human health, economic development and poverty reduction, thus seriously jeopardising the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The 2020 United Nations World Water Development Report focuses on the challenges, opportunities and potential responses to climate change, in terms of adaptation, mitigation and improved resilience that can be addressed through improving water management.
Combining climate change adaptation and mitigation, through water, is a win-win proposal, improving the provision of water supply and sanitation services and combating both the causes and impacts of climate change, including disaster risk reduction.
World Water Day : World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This Day is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.
A new World Water Development Report is released each year on or near World Water Day, to provide decision-makers with tools to formulate and implement sustainable water policies. This report is coordinated by UNESCO’s World Water Development Programme (WWAP) on behalf of UN-Water.
UNESCO also contributes to the observance of World Water Day within the activities of its International Hydrological Programme (IHP), which worlds all year long to build the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources in a sustainable way.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
“A water crisis is a global crisis. Without sustainable access to water, we will be unable to achieve goals such as quality education or the development of more prosperous, fairer societies. History has demonstrated this. In China and in the Middle East, for example, the major rivers (the Yangtze, Nile and Euphrates) made the first great agrarian and urban civilizations possible.
Given the urgency of the situation, the coming decade needs to be one of action.”
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, on the occasion of World Water Day 2020