The world’s water quality: A pre-study for a worldwide assessment

The pre-study for a World Water Quality Assessment

in a nutshell


The aim of WWQA pre-study was to develop and demonstrate a data and model driven methodology to identify current “hotspots” of deteriorating freshwater quality including


•    types, intensity and sources of water pollution,

•    potential impacts relating to human health and food security (freshwater fishery),

•    main water quality data and information gaps, and

•    strategies for future monitoring.


As a main outcome, the report ‘A Snapshot of the World’s Water Quality – Towards a global assessment’ with accompanying Policy Brief summarizes the key findings of the pre-study. The methodology developed offers a baseline to measure progress, a framework for global assessment and a pathway towards sustainable solutions. This report will help bridge the gap between water quality, the inclusive green economy and the interlinked issues of sustainable development.


The WWQA pre-study, conducted in 2013-2015, was initiated by the UN-Water Thematic Priority Area on Water Quality and led by the United Nations Environment Programme | UNEP. It was coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ and conducted in cooperation with Center for Environmental Systems Research | CESR, University of Kassel, GEMS | Water and several regional partners.






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