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Press Release for Friday, April 13, 2012

UNF St. Johns River Case Study Incorporated in UN World Water Report

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 

Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 




A St. Johns River case study submitted by the Environmental Center at the University of North Florida was integrated in the recently-released United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR), the first time a United States river has ever been included in the world water report. 


T he WWDR is a compilation of case studies of river basins around the world, produced by the UN World Water Assessment Programme. A new report is released once every three years and includes rivers from all over the world. The St. Johns River case study summarizes geographical, economic and ecosystem-based features of the river basis and was written by an academic team of researchers from UNF’s Environmental Center and Jacksonville University, the same team that publishes the annual State of the Lower St. Johns River Basin Report. 


“The UN WWDR case study is an important way to share the story of the St. Johns River with the international community,” said Dr. Radha Pyati, director of the Environmental Center at the University of North Florida, who co-authored the case study included in the UN report. “Often case studies from the developed nations serve to describe real-world successes and challenges from which the developing world may learn, and our case study serves this purpose.” 


Inclusion of the St. Johns River case study came about through a professional introduction between Pyati and Engin Koncagul of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme. Both were interested in including this important American river in the triennial WWDR volume. 


The United Nations World Water Assessment Progamme is hosted by UNESCO and brings together the work of 28 UN-Water members and partners in the triennial WWDR, a comprehensive review that gives an overall picture of the state of the world’s freshwater resources. It analyses pressures from decisions that drive demand for water and affect its availability. The report offers tools and response options to help leaders in government, the private sector and civil society address current and future challenges. 


The UNF Environmental Center was founded in 2004. Its mission is to establish, develop and support cross-disciplinary education and research related to the environment. The Center fosters programs for students, faculty and staff to pursue environmental activities through academics, research and extracurricular activities. The Center conducts and supports campus infrastructural projects involving sustainability and the campus’s natural environment.