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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Water and Jobs

At the global level, three of every four jobs are related to water in some way. The 2016 World Water Development Report examines the links between water and jobs, employment and economic development. The key findings of the report are summarised below.

Without water, there are no jobs

The most water-intensive sectors are agriculture, fishing and forestry, and they alone provide employment for 1 billion people. Water scarcity and increasingly difficult access to water resources eliminate water-intensive professions and they may hinder economic growth in the coming years. Efforts must be made in order to ensure that the regions impacted are able to adapt to increasing water scarcity, thereby preventing a crisis in local employment and its consequences associated with trade and migration.

Improved water quality means better jobs, a better labour force, and a higher standard of life

Access to suitable drinking water and domestic, school and workplace infrastructure for the separate treatment of human waste result in more efficient employees in the labour market in better health condition, with generally higher qualifications. Non-sustainable water management jeopardises the hard-earned successes in eliminating poverty and creating jobs. Greater emphasis must be placed on understanding that water resources, the water infrastructure and associated services have a comprehensive role in economic growth and job creation, and that sustainable planning must take those aspects into account.

Water scarcity and increasingly difficult access to water resources eliminate water-intensive professions Photo: Shutterstock

Investment in water creates jobs

Investment in water infrastructure can be implemented exceptionally cost-efficiently, while they also have a positive impact on many sectors of the economy. Investment creating jobs in water resource management, water supply and public sanitation services have a high return on investment and an additional significant multiplicative effect on job creation in other sectors. Long-term planning and efficient financing are indispensable in sophisticated water management in order to actually achieve the benefits in job creation, economic growth and other, associated social and economic areas.

The relationship between water and jobs in our changing world

Climate change is exacerbating the problem of access to water, and unavoidably eliminates some jobs. The transition to a greener economy and the development of environment-friendly technologies has a beneficial effect on employment and on the creation of ethical jobs. Innovative learning methods and relevant professional and scientific education are exceptionally important for reinforcing the system of institutions and in developing jobs in all sectors associated with water.

The transition to a greener economy has a beneficial effect on employment Photo: Shutterstock

The World Water Development Report is available on the UNESCO website.

Further information: UNESCO

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Using sunlight to clean water

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Leonardo DiCaprio helps create new environmental alliance

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World’s largest floating solar park to be built in Singapore

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The UN Secretary General urges immediate action to avoid a climate catastrophe

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The worst ocean polluting countries to join the effort to eliminate waste

The ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to adopt a joint declaration to combat marine plastic waste.

DiCaprio sends the message again: we are still on track to destroy our world

Only a few years after the brutally honest documentary Before the Flood, a new film has been made, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, about the shocking consequences of global warming. Ice on Fire seeks to find out whether we can still reverse the impact of climate change.

Costa Rica sets an example

The Central American country has been a paragon of environment-friendly governance for decades. It has set the ambitious goal of phasing out fossil fuels altogether by 2050.

Global temperature may rise by as much as 3 degrees

Due to the insufficient commitments of governments so far, global temperature may increase by twice the tolerable amount, 3 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century relative to the preindustrial period, warned UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

Extensive cooperation to stop marine pollution

At their meeting in Japan, the environment ministers of G20 countries agreed on a global framework for the introduction and application of measures to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste pollution.

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