With many stakeholders gathering at Stockholm World Water Week, August is prime time for the publication of major water sector reports and new data.
Here’s our selection of must-reads.
The links here go to original material on external websites.
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Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis
The World Bank published a key report on water quality and pollution showing that poor water quality stalls economic progress, stymies human potential, and reduces food production. The report emphasizes that the impact of water pollution is more ubiquitous and problematic than previously acknowledged, across the globe in both developed and developing countries.
Recognizing the scale of the issue is the first step to solving it. The report highlights the need for improving transparency: better monitoring and better dissemination of information are essential to activate stakeholders to work towards solutions.
The report is particularly interesting for how it takes into account corruption risks related to different options to address water pollution (see chapter 6), especially policy responses. Different technology solutions may also be useful and more interesting (smart contracts are mentioned throughout as an example) because of their potential for minimizing corruption risks.
Read more and see the video at: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2019/08/20/quality-unknown
Unaffordable and Undrinkable: Rethinking Urban Water Access in the Global South
As a complement to new data in its Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, WRI published an analysis on access and affordability of water in large cities in the Global South. The results are sobering and very relevant in terms of integrity and equity. The publication suggests the most commonly used data on water access underestimates the urban water crisis. It states reliable water is not as available and service is more intermittent than generally thought and decades of attempts to increase the private sector’s role in water provision have not adequately improved access. The publication also confirms that households without access to municipal water can pay up to 52 times more for water than those with piped utility water.
The report is a call to urgent action and strengthened commitments to providing equitable access to safe, reliable, and affordable water, especially in under-served urban areas.
Read more at: https://www.wri.org/wri-citiesforall/publication/unaffordable-and-undrinkable-rethinking-urban-water-access-global-south
New GLAAS report: National Systems to Support Drinking Water Sanitation and Hygiene: Global Status Report 2019
Essential data and information on system improvements for WASH in light of the SDGs.
The latest UN-Water Global Assessment and Analysis of Sanitation and Drinking-Water 2019 (GLAAS report) surveys 115 countries and territories, representing 4.5 billion people. A key conclusions is that in over 85 percent of countries surveyed, the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene policies and plans is constrained by inadequate human and financial resources. This status reports emphasizes the need to ensure that there is sufficient funding to tackle WASH challenges and the equally important need to reinforce national delivery systems.
Download the report at: https://www.unwater.org/publications/un-water-glaas-2019-national-systems-to-support-drinking-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-global-status-report-2019/