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Oceans cover three-quarters of the globe, and a staggering 80% of all life on Earth is found hidden beneath their waves. They also represent an enormous economic opportunity, which is why the “Ocean Economy” is driven by a combination of growing ocean-based industries, jobs and rising incomes as well as concerns about growing pressures on dwindling marine resources and response to climate change.
With the Asia-Pacific region rapidly urbanising and the vast majority of the region facing water scarcity, cities are likely to face water insecurity. To become water secure cities will need to balance rising demand for water with limited supplies.
Claire Jolly and Barrie Stevens, OECD, discuss the new report 'The Ocean Economy in 2030' that explores the growth prospects for the ocean economy, its capacity for future employment creation and innovation, and its role in addressing global challenges.

Water is fundamental to food production and ecosystem services as well as vital for industrial production and energy generation. However, nearly 700 million people currently lack access to clean drinking water, 2.3 billion lack access to improved sanitation services and around 1,000 children under five die every day as a result of lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation services (WHO, 2015,  World Bank, 2015). With water demand projected to increase, the World Bank estimates a 40 per cent shortfall between forecasted demand and available supply by 2030 (World Bank, 2015).

The challenge lies in finding a way to use the world’s water more efficiently and make it available to all at a reasonable cost, while leaving sufficient quantities to sustain the environment. Green growth policies in the water sector can address issues of both quantity and quality by encouraging water-related innovation and investment in green infrastructure, and through integration with policies in other relevant sectors.

Relevance to SDGs

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 addresses the sustainable management of water and includes the preservation of water-related ecosystems, including wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

Explore green growth resources relate to SDG 6:

SDG 6.2
   SDG 6.4
     use efficiency     
   SDG 6.5


The Land-Water-Energy Nexus_Biophysical and Economic Consequences
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Enhancing Water Use Efficiency in Korea
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Environment Directorate

Learning Products

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), General Institute of Water Resources & Hydropower Planning, Ministry of Water Resources, People's Republic of China


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)