Freshwater resources are fundamental for maintaining human health, agricultural production, economic activity as well as critical ecosystem functions. As populations and economies grow, new constraints on water resources are appearing, raising questions about limits to water availability. Such resource questions are not new.

This report from the United Nations Environment Programme addresses the urgency of controlling pollution and preserving water quality around the world. Uses case studies to illustrate both problems and solutions and details key recommendations to improve and protect water quality for the international community, national governments, communities and households.