water is the most essential resource for life on earth, it is crucial for relieving poverty, hunger and disease and critical for economic development (UN Department of Technical Cooperation for Development). Due to inequitable use, pollution, deforestation, desertification and climate change, water is becoming the most acute limiting factor to socioeconomic development. The lack of drinking water is the most serious global problem of humankind and the main cause of conflicts among countries. At present, more than 1 billion people have no access to safe drinking water. Against the background of a constantly growing world population, the coverage of an increasing need of freshwater for the future is the biggest challenge worldwide. The United Nations forecast that in 20 years, 3.4 billion people will live in countries with water shortage. Therefore, an effective water management and the supply with safe drinking water are of high importance not only in water scarce regions, but also in industrialised countries.
This issue of the WaMRi-Newsletter deals with an international project focussed on the global water system, provides information on the possibilities and areas of GIS application in the framework of the WHO Water Safety Plan and summarizes the main findings of the ECOSAN Conference, which took place in Durban, South Africa, in May this year.
WHO CC Newsletter No. 8: high (pdf, 0.9 MB)