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Water Values: Discourses and Perspective

Published in Encyclopaedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Clean Water and Sanitation

17 February 2021

Authors: Amare Haileslassie, Eva Ludi, Maggie Roe, and Cat Button

Overall, not enough is known about the different values of specific water resources in many parts of the world, particularly how these values interact, how different stakeholders assign and perceive different values and how such values change over time. Such information gaps exacerbate an already growing water insecurity and impede achievement of SDG 6 and associated targets. Addressing these information gaps could help to establish a more comprehensive and shared understanding, not only of water values, but the benefits of water ecosystem services. Against this background the overarching objectives of this review are: i) to synthesize a concept of water values and practical approaches to water valuation; ii) to identify knowledge gaps related to water values, and iii) to provide perspectives on future research on water values to help achieve SDG 6 targets.

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