About water

Water covers more than two thirds of the planet, but readily accessible freshwater – which is found in rivers, lakes, wetlands and aquifers – accounts for less than one per cent of the world’s water supply.

As the global population grows, so too do the demands for water – for drinking, sanitation, farming and energy production, among many other uses. At the same time, human activity and climate change are disrupting natural water cycles, putting freshwater ecosystems under pressure. Pollution, infrastructure development and resource extraction pose additional challenges.

Read more

People and partners

Our work in this area is led by the Freshwater Ecosystems Unit, which is based in Nairobi, in collaboration with UN Environment’s regional offices and collaborative centres worldwide, and guided by our Freshwater Strategy 2017-2021. We also engage a number of partners to execute the work at country and regional level, both within and outside the UN system. We work as part of UN-Water, which coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation. Our external partners include businesses, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations.