After the publication of four editions of the United Nations World Water Development Report, commonly referred to as "WWDR", this UN-Water flagship report will revise its scope and improve its format in order to better meet the needs of its readers.
The new "formula"
The WWDR will become an annual and thematic report with a focus on different strategic water issues each year. It will be in the order of 100 pages with a standardized structure and data and case studies annexes related to the theme.
The first annual WWDR will be published in 2014 and will address the theme "Water and Energy".
Every fifth year a 40-page synthesis report will also be produced, either as a standalone volume or integrated with the annual WWDR that year. The synthesis report will give an overview of the status and trends of water resources through key indicators, and include a summary of previous WWDR findings as well as main findings from other UN-Water reports. The five-year report will include a facts-based standardized annex that provides a snapshot of the most recent data.
The decision to revise the scope, structure and format of the WWDR is based on the work of the Advisory Group on UN-Water Publications and on the findings of an extensive stakeholder survey carried out between December 2011 and January 2012. The Group was tasked to take a strategic look at UN-Water publications, with specific attention to the WWDR process, and propose recommendations to ensure coherence, maximize benefit and impact of the full suite of periodical publications.
The stakeholders survey
Over 1,100 respondents in 150 countries representing a wide range of stakeholders and potential readers responded to the survey, which sought feedback on UN-Water publications, with a special emphasis on the WWDR.
The survey revealed that 96% of the respondents were in favour of UN-Water continuing to produce the WWDR. While respondents use the report for different purposes, they concord that it had become more relevant for them over time. However, the survey also revealed that stakeholders would benefit better from a WWDR that would be essentially more focused, shorter and more frequent.
The new WWDR "formula" is intended to respond to these expectations, with an annual, more concise publication that is increasingly facts-based and has a more specific thematic focus.
The new WWDR will also include regional aspects, hotspots, examples and stories, making the report relevant to a broad range of readers, at different levels and in different geographical areas.
The development of the WWDR, coordinated by the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), is a joint effort of the UN agencies and entities which make up UN-Water, working in partnership with governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.
The fourth and latest edition, Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risks, was published in March 2012 and is available here.