Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people around the world, an alarming figure that is projected to increase with the rise of global temperatures as a result of climate change. Although 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved water sanitation since 1990, dwindling supplies of safe drinking water is a major problem impacting every continent.
In 2011, 41 countries experienced water stress – 10 of which are close to depleting their supply of renewable freshwater and must now rely on alternative sources. Increasing drought and desertification is already worsening these trends. By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will be affected by recurring water shortages.
Ensuring universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires we invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene at every level. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems such as forests, mountains, wetlands and rivers is essential if we are to mitigate water scarcity. More international cooperation is also needed to encourage water efficiency and support treatment technologies in developing countries.
Goals in action
We can rediscover the beauty of our planet every day - if we just look in the right places. A smile around the corner, rice paddies that shimmer in endlessly varying shades of green, or a mountain range at the horizon. Lao PDR and Timor-Leste are two places to get inspired by the natural beauty of life, created and sustained by the simplest of elements, water. MORE >
Under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Programme, the Equator Initiative supports the work of local and indigenous communities in creating sustainable development solutions worldwide. They have found innovative ways to combat the effects of climate change, and the Equator Prize—awarded to 20 communities this year—recognizes these efforts. This short from Perspective Film Production highlights the work of six of the recipients. MORE >
900 ISLANDS 6 provinces, 1 project: Enhancing clean & climate-resilient water systems in the Solomon Islands
"The people in Tuwo" - a beautiful island community on Fenualoa Island, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands – "didn't know much about what climate change is, they thought a supernatural force was eating their coastline." MORE >
Reza Rahadian and Eva Celia as UNDP SDGs Movers visited Napu village in East Sumba to present the result of Bring Water for Life, UNDP Indonesia’s first crowdfunding campaign. The fund collected from the campaign is used to build a solar water pump in Napu by KOPPESDA, an NGO partner based in East Sumba, with supervision from UNDP Indonesia. MORE >
Despite the susceptibility of Bhutan’s public health to climate change, the country has worked hard to strengthen its capacity to adapt to climate change. An important innovation of the Bhutanese initiative is linking climate data with epidemiological surveillance. MORE >