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UNU-INWEH: Global Water Security 2023 Assessment

The United Nations University Institute for Water Environment and Health (UNU INWEH) - the UN think tank on water - has released its Global Water Security 2023 Assessment that evaluates the state of water security for 7.78 billion people living in 186 countries. 

People fetching water

Undertaken midway into the Water Action Decade (2018-2028) and the Sustainable Development Goal era (2015-2030), the report aims to provide a clearer picture of global water security, and identify where more targeted developmental efforts, funding, and policy focus should be to ensure that the most vulnerable and insecure are not left behind. 

The report addresses 10 development outcomes as components of water security: Drinking water, Sanitation, Good health, Water quality, Water availability, Water value, Water governance, Human safety, Economic safety, and Water resource stability. Each water security component is assessed, and each country receives a score out of 10. 

Unfortunately, the report reveals that the state of globally relevant water-related data on almost all water issues remains poor, with the notable exceptions of WASH and health data managed by the Joint Monitoring Programme (World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)), and nationally reported data on integrated water resources management (UN Environment Programme Centre on Water and Environment (UNEP-DHI)). 

According to the UNU INWEH, “The water security components assessed represent a benchmark from which to assess future progress, but immediate action must be taken by all national governments to radically improve data collection, with support from international agencies and UN data custodians. Without this data, progress in water security towards at least half of SDG 6 (water) targets will remain ‘guesstimates’ at best.“

  • Explore the Global Water Security 2023 Assessment here.

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