The pre-study for a World Water Quality Assessment in a nutshell

The aim of the 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" 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 University of Kassel – Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR), GEMS/ Water and several regional partners.

The report as PDF with a complete list of authors can be viewed at and downloaded from the WWQA pre-study webpages .