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Water for sustainable urban human settlements

WWAP and UN-Habitat have released a joint Briefing Note ‘Water for sustainable urban human settlements‘ highlighting critical water challenges related to today’s unprecedented urban expansion – from providing access to basic services to ensuring environmental and human security. The paper, produced 16 June 2010, provides urban mayors, leaders and high-level decision makers with concrete policy options to meet these challenges, protect against potential water-related disasters and ensure the development of sustainable urban settlements.

With half the world’s population living in urban areas and forecasts that all regions of the world will be predominantly urban by the middle of this century, the issue of sustainable cities is obviously high on the international agenda. The theme has influenced a number of international events in 2010, including Shanghai Expo 2010 ‘Better Cities, Better Life’; Singapore International Water Week ‘Sustainable Cities, Clean and Affordable Water’; the IWA World Water Congress ‘Cities of the Future’ and many others.

WWAP and UN-HABITAT wish to reaffirm the critical role of water in ensuring sustainable cities. Clean drinking water, improved sanitation services and protection against water-related disasters are fundamental to environmental and human security and to sustainable urban development.

Though water supply and sanitation coverage increased between 1998 and 2008, the growth of the world’s urban populations jeopardizes those results. Keeping up with urban growth will be a tough challenge. But there can be no sustainable urban settlements without an efficient water policy. Mayors, leaders in all sectors, and high-level decision-makers must acknowledge the role of water and take action NOW!

“Water for Sustainable Urban Human Settlements” [English PDF – 2 MB]

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