Explosive Growth of Water Demand; Water Stress for Three Billion People


Human Wrongs Watch

Dushanbe, Tajikistan – “Not only is the world experiencing explosive growth in the demand for water resources, but water waste and pollution increasingly threaten the integrity of aquatic and agro-ecosystems vital for life and food security,” the Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Rebeca Grynspan, said at the High-Level International Conference on Water Cooperation*.

Credit: United Nations

Credit: United Nations

“Climate change is not helping either, increasing variability in the water cycle, and exacerbating extreme events like floods and droughts complicates even further an already immense water management and water governance challenge. If these trends continue, by 2025, as many as 3 billion people could be living in areas facing water stress.”

No Water Today for 770 Million; No Sanitation for 2.5 Billion!

Currently, some 770 million people worldwide lack access to an improved water source and 2.5 billion lack access to basic sanitation, according to a UN release on 21 August 2013*.

As part of its efforts to tackle these issues, the UN has declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation, recognizing that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between the different needs and priorities and share the precious resource equitably, using water as an instrument of peace.

Grynspan stressed countries must collaborate to increase access to clean water and sanitation and improve water management for irrigation and productive uses, which has the potential of lifting millions out of poverty and hunger. The importance of this cooperation should feature prominently in the post-2015 development agenda, as well as in the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Most Vulnerable, Once More!

“Water is at the heart of a daily crisis faced by millions of the most vulnerable people in the world,” she said, emphasizing that: “Effective and inclusive water cooperation at all levels – local, national, regional, and international – is essential to effective water governance and thus to achieving key water-related objectives and targets.”

“At the national level, community involvement, women’s voices and participation and private sector cooperation are essential […] at the Regional level, dialogue, information sharing and cooperation on transboundary waters to advance peace, security, environmental protection, and regional economic development should be supported.

“And at global level, international standards, goals, and targets on water and related issues like climate change and cooperation mechanisms such as UN-Water, the Sanitation and Water for All initiative, and indeed, the International Year of Water Cooperation itself, are key.”

The Conference, Grynspan added, will serve to further inform UN Member States on this issue as they undertake the process of designing the post-2015 and sustainable development agenda.

“Governments, the UN system, private sector, civil society and citizens at large all have to come together, and raise their voice for a post-2015 and sustainable development agenda that will be owned by all. I urge all of you to stay engaged and participate in this unprecedented global conversation,” she added.

*Source: UN Release.

Read also:

Be Prepared to Face Water Shocks!

10 Devastating Facts about Water Pollution You Ought to Know

NASA Alert: Middle East Headed Towards a Water Shortage Crisis

No Water in Many Parts of the World in Only 40 Years

No Water? No Food, No Life!

Demand for Life’s Essentials: 50% More Food, 40% More Energy and… 35% More Water

World Bank and Giant Corporations Allied to Privatize Water Worldwide

‘Big 10′ Food, Beverage Companies Failing Millions of People Who Supply Them with Land, Labor, Water… 

Give Them Water, Toilets!

2014 Human Wrongs Watch

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