Today saw the launch of launch of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR) “Leaving No One Behind” in Geneva, three days before World Water Day. This is the flagship publication of UN-Water on the state of global freshwater resources.

The trend of ~1% per year increase in global water use since the 1980s is forecast to continue until 2050, which would be a 20-30% increase above current water usage. This is considered to be mostly a result of expanding industrial and domestic sectors. Water stress and scarcity risks the basic human right of people to have safe drinking water and sanitation. Already “about 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year” and “three out of ten people do not have access to safe drinking water” (UN World Water Development Report 2019). The predicted increase in demand for water will also increase water stress and scarcity and the risk to people’s basic human rights.

Ensuring that the human right to clean water and sanitation for all people is meet in spite of upcoming challenges is the UN’s 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. See the full report for the UN’s proposed solutions to meet SDG6 by 2030.