Freshwater and water security

IUCN works to provide everyone with fair access to clean water, and to protect the freshwater ecosystems on which humanity depends.


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About freshwater and water security

People’s lives and livelihoods depend on access to water. We have long overstretched this precious resource, with freshwater ecosystems disappearing three times faster than forests, and many countries now facing water shortages. The world must equitably and sustainably manage water to provide for a growing human population, to protect life on land and in freshwater ecosystems, and to mitigate the impacts of climate change.




increase in global demand for water by 2030




of freshwater species are threatened with extinction




of natural disasters relate to water

Our work

Investment in sustainable management, species and habitat protection, and restoration of freshwater ecosystems at all scales is fundamental to meet underlying human health and food security needs.

- Addendum to the IUCN Programme 2021–2024

Our ambition is that by 2030 freshwater systems support and sustain biodiversity and human needs around the globe. IUCN works to promote good water governance, implement Nature-based Solutions to climate change, monitor and protect freshwater biodiversity, and increase investment in ecosystems. By developing knowledge, guiding policies and action, we help ensure equitable and sustainable access to water and the many services freshwater ecosystems provide.