Clearing the waters: a focus on water quality solutions
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.
The publication addresses the urgency of controlling pollution and preserving water quality around the world. The past few decades have focused on the importance of water quantity in meeting basic human and ecosystem needs for water. Water quality is as important as water quantity for satisfying human and environmental needs, and yet has received far less investment, scientific support, and public attention. An overview of water-quality challenges details the contaminants and human activities that affect water quality. Water quality impacts human health, water quantity, livelihood, and economic activity, and climate change. Emerging contaminants, population growth and urbanization also present additional stresses to water quality. This publication quantifies the issues and uses case studies to illustrate both problems and solutions. With an emphasis on water-quality solutions, strategies for water-quality institutions and data, pollution prevention, treatment, and ecological restoration are laid out, with mechanisms to further the goal of clean water for a healthy world. It concludes by highlighting the main findings and key policy recommendations.