There is enough freshwater on our planet to satisfy demands now and in the foreseeable future. Yet since water is essential for so much of our human, household and industrial needs, the problem is ensuring its availability when and where most needed. That is why implementing integrated water resources management (IWRM) strategies is so important.
However, the latest UN report reveals that more than 65% of countries are lagging in implementing IWRM, which is directly linked with strategies to:
- Safeguard good water quality
Because our ecosystems and human health depend on it
- Balance water demands
So that we all have access to enough water
- Protect and restore water-related ecosystems
To ensure that the lifeblood of our planet keeps flowing
Sustainable water management involves balancing competing water demands from across society and the economy, without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. This is achieved through coordinated policy and regulatory frameworks, management arrangements and dedicated financing.
When countries adopted the SDGs, they committed to regularly reporting data to the UN to track progress and ensure accountability. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. But we know it’s easier said than done, and many countries have struggled to take these ambitious new goals on board.
Providing countries with the support they need to achieve these goals is a priority for UN agencies like UNEP. It works closely with partners including the UNEP-DHI Centre to help countries track and accelerate goal progress. The UNEP-DHI Centre takes a lead role in the target for water resources management, and also supports with monitoring of water quality and water ecosystems health.