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News New UN-Water Analytical Brief on Water Security and the Global Water Agenda

This new UN-Water publication proposes a working definition of water security. It is intended to serve as a starting point for dialogue on water security in the UN system. The Brief, produced by UN-Water Task Force on Water Security, aims to capture the dynamic and constantly evolving dimensions of water and water-related issues, and offers a holistic outlook for addressing water challenges through the umbrella of water security.

• Read more on the Brief
• Online flipbook version (new)
• Download full PDF (2.2 Mb) 
• 4-pages Summary for Decision Makers (PDF 1.6Mb)
• Press release


What does "Water Security" mean?

"The capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of and acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability."

This is the definition proposed by UN-Water to serve as a starting point for dialogue in the UN system. Discover on this infographic the key elements of water security, and the centrality of water to achieving a larger sense of security, sustainability, development and human well-being. UN-Water hence supports the inclusion of water security on the agenda of the UN Security Council and in the post-2015 development agenda as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

• View infographic 

Quick facts

783 million people, are still without access to improved sources of drinking water.

2.5 billion people do not have improved sanitation facilities.

Between 1991 and 2000 over 665,000 people died in 2,557 natural disasters of which 90% were related to water.

Water scarcity already affects more than 40% of the people.

UN Security Council has recognized the security implications of climate change, water being the medium through which it will have the most effects.

Freshwater ecosystems are the most degraded of all ecosystems.

• More water facts

UN-Water Task Force on Water Security

The Brief was prepared by UN-Water Task Force on Water Security, which was created to respond to the increasing importance placed on water security and the international recognition by the UNGA of the individual need for water to ensure human security.

The Task Force is co-chaired by UNESCAP and UNU-INWEH and comprises the following UN-Water Members: FAO, UNCBD, UNDP, UNECA, UNECLAC, UNESCAP, UNESCWA, UNISDR, and UNU; the following Partners: AIDA, GWP, IAH, ICID, IUCN, SIWI and WWF; and the following Programme: UNW-DPC.

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High-Level Roundtable on Water Peace and Security and UN-Water Expert Panel

New York, September 2012

UN-Water organized a High-Level Roundtable on Water, Peace and Security together with the European Union and the United States in the margins of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in Sep 2012 in New York. The Roundtable, intended to increase political will and catalyze action around water and security issues, was followed by a separate Expert Panel on Water Security hosted by UN-Water to provide input to the development of the Analytical Brief.

• Read more

Contact information Neno, Stefanie (NRL), Communications Manager | UN-Water/ FAO (email:
Phone: skypename: stefneno
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information UN-Water/ FAO via UN-Water Newsletter - Special Water Security
Keyword(s) Water Security
Geographical coverage n/a
News date 07/05/2013
Working language(s) ENGLISH