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The geography of future water challenges

Report | 18-04-2018

This publication shows that, without improved water management or adaptation to climate change, the global sustainability goals cannot be achieved. The report highlights the urgent need for an integrated approach to limiting climate- and water-related risks. Using maps and infographics, The geography of future water challenges shows the water-related challenges of tomorrow,  under a business-as-usual scenario.

Water is inextricably linked to sustainable developments and quality of life. The themes presented are food production, water quality and human health, flood risk, energy, ecological quality, and the interaction between water and migration and possible conflict risks. Water-related challenges are shown to be increasing, over the coming decades, due to a combination of population growth, economic development and climate change.

The report shows the urgent need for a coherent approach on a scale that is sufficiently large to cover the various problems and underlines the importance of collaboration between public parties to initiate solutions. The global landscapes in the search for integrated solutions will be the dryland regions, cities, transboundary river basins, coastal zones and deltas.

Preview: 5 maps and infographics

Below, we provide 5 examples from the book. For additional maps and infographics we refer you to the publication.

Please click on the images for more information and references.

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The four maps show four global landscapes and their interdependencies. These landscapes are drylands and water-stressed areas, transboundary river basins, coastal zones and deltas and cities. These landscapes encompass clusters of risks and challenges.  

 

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The graph shows that far more people die from heavily polluted water than from natural disasters and violent conflicts. The map shows that this is especially the case in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

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The map shows the geographical distribution of rapidly growing cities in deltas and along coasts and rivers. Rapidly growing cities and megacities are especially found in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

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The map shows the location and capacity of planned dams primarily designed for hydropower. The bars show the technical, economic and ecological hydropower potential, per region. If ecological requirements would be leading, only 15% of the economic potential could be utilised.

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The figure on the left shows that five global commitments are strongly related: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, New Urban Aagenda, Paris Climate Agreement, Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentare. The figure on the right shows that 14 out of 17 sustainable development goals are directly related to water.

 

This publication was commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, in the context of the Dutch International Water Ambition. The publication was created in collaboration with Deltares, Utrecht University, Wageningen University and Research, VU University Amsterdam, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Clingendael Institute and Blueland.

 

Author(s)Willem Ligtvoet, Arno Bouwman, Joost Knoop, Sophie de Bruin, Kersten Nabielek, Hiddo Huitzing, Jan Janse, Jelle van Minne, David Gernaat, Peter van Puijenbroek, Jan de Ruiter, Hans Visser
Publication date19-04-2018
ISBN978-94-92685-04-9
Pages104
LanguageEngels