Water Week starts with calls for better urban water
Tuesday 23 August 2011
World Water Week opened in Stockholm on Monday with calls for greater, more resilient water management in cities to ensure better food and water security in a rapidly urbanising world.
"More than ever we need new technologies and policy solutions" to compensate for water shortages hitting a growing number of the world's inhabitants," Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, said in her opening address.
"The proportion of poor people is increasing more in urban than in rural areas," she said, stressing that poor, urban areas "are home to 830 million, who often lack fundamental services in water and sanitation, making it even more difficult to break the vicious circle of poverty".
Poor water quality accompanied by poor sanitation is the second leading cause to child mortality in the world, and also contributes to mother mortality, Carlsson said.
"Increased access to clean water supplies and sanitation is an important catalytic force for development," she said, insisting "the costs of not acting far exceed the costs of well-functioning, sustainable water resource management."
Around 2,500 experts from some 130 countries are attending the 21st edition of the World Water Week in Stockholm, and will at the end of this week publish a declaration aimed at contributing ideas and support to the United Nation's conference on sustainable development set to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.
In July last year, the UN's general assembly adopted a resolution recognising access to clean water and sanitation as a human right.
Nonetheless, more than a year later, 1.6 billion people still live in areas affected by drought, the UN Environment Programme said in a report published Monday along with the International Water Management Institute, cautioning that the number could easily rise to two billion if not enough is done to change the situation.
"Concerns linked to water in urban areas have grown, and not only in developing countries," Henri Begorre, the president of the French Water Partnership, an umbrella organisation comprising all the French groups working for international water intervention, told AFP.
Anders Berntell, the head of the Stockholm International Water Institute, agreed.
"Investments (in infrastructure) have not kept up in pace with urbanisation," he told AFP.
The annual conference in Sweden will this year help pave the way for a conference on water, energy and food in Bonn, Germany, in November, and for the Water Forum in Marseille, France, next March.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Outlander novelist Diana Gabaldon in battle to prevent 'industrial-scale' windfarm being built where travel series is set
Britain's bluebells now face a fight for their very survival
Morne Hardenberg: 'Great white sharks have a softer side most people never get to see'
A spotter's guide to a wild orchid summer
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...