Water is an essential component of national and local economies, and is needed to create and maintain jobs across all sectors of the economy. Half of the global workforce is employed in eight water and natural resource-dependent industries: agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, resource-intensive manufacturing, recycling, building and transport.
Sustainable water management, water infrastructure and access to a safe, reliable and affordable supply of water and adequate sanitation services improve living standards, expand local economies, and lead to the creation of more decent jobs and greater social inclusion. Sustainable water management is also an essential driver of green growth and sustainable development.
Conversely, neglecting water issues runs the risk of imposing serious negative impacts on economies, livelihoods and populations with potentially catastrophic and extremely costly results. Unsustainable management of water and other natural resources can cause severe damages to economies and to society, thus reversing many poverty reduction, job creation and hard-won development gains.
Addressing the water-jobs nexus, notably through coordinated policies and investments, is therefore a prerequisite to sustainable development in both developed and developing countries.