Oxford-led research says world needs to rethink the value of water

New research published in the journal Science and led by Oxford University is highlighting the accelerating pressure on measuring, monitoring and managing water locally and globally.

The researchers are proposing a new framework to value water for sustainable development to guide better policy and practice.  The scale of the investment for universal and safely-managed drinking water and sanitation is vast, with estimates around $114B USD per year, for capital costs alone.

The researchers say there is an increasing need to re-think the value of water for two key reasons – not least because of its key role in sustainable development. Water’s value is evident in all of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, notably poverty alleviation and ending hunger, where the connection is long recognised. It also extends to sustainable cities and peace and justice, where the complex impacts of water are only now being fully appreciated.

The research is also highlighting growing global concerns over water security. The negative impacts of water shortages, flooding and pollution have placed water related risks among the top 5 global threats by the World Economic Forum for several years running.

More information can be found here.