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A joint undertaking of the 24 UN agencies comprising UN-Water, and in partnership with governments and other entities concerned with freshwater issues, this volume, covering as it does all regions and most countries of the world, provides an up-to-date global overview of the state and uses of freshwater, critical water-related problems, and societies' coping mechanisms. Drawing on an extensive database, expert analysis, case studies, and hundreds of graphic elements, it is the most comprehensive undertaking to date of freshwater assessment, providing a mechanism for monitoring changes in the resource and its management and progress towards achieving development targets, particularly the Millennium Development Goals.
Building on the conclusions of the first United Nations World Water Development Report, Water for People, Water for Life (2003), the 2006 Report confirms the ongoing, serious and growing water crisis-essentially a crisis of governance-and points to a prevalent lack of capacity and knowledge base as today's primary obstacles to achieving the necessary levels of water governance. This volume proposes a more integrated vision of water resources management to respond to changing environmental and socio-economic conditions.