World Water Development Report 2014

In view of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, likely to include increased access to water and energy services, this fifth edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2014) seeks to inform decision-makers (inside and outside the water and energy domains), stakeholders and practitioners about the interlinkages, potential synergies and trade-offs, and to highlight the need for appropriate responses and regulatory frameworks that account for both water and energy priorities.

Freshwater and energy are crucial for human well-being and sustainable socio-economic development. Their essential roles in achieving progress under every category of development goal are now widely recognized. Major regional and global crises – of climate, poverty, hunger, health and finance – that threaten the livelihood of many, especially the three billion people living on less than US$2.50 per day, are interconnected through water and energy. 

Worldwide, an estimated 768 million people remain without access to an improved source of water – although by some estimates, the number of people whose right to water is not satisfied could be as high as 3.5 billion – and 2.5 billion remain without access to improved sanitation. More than 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity, and roughly 2.6 billion use solid fuels (mainly biomass) for cooking. The fact that these figures are often representative of the same people is evidenced by a close association between respiratory diseases caused by indoor air pollution, and diarrhea and related waterborne diseases caused by a lack of safe drinking water and sanitation.

WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme). 2014. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2014: Water and Energy. Paris, UNESCO

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