Connect with us

Environment

Managing the world’s most precious resource

The world’s demand for fresh water is growing so fast that, by 2030, agriculture, industry and expanding cities will face such scarce supplies that the confrontation could disrupt economic development and threaten political stability and public health. People in places as disparate as north Africa, Central Valley, California, and India’s northern states, among others, are already facing similar threats to their livelihoods, while population growth, ageing infrastructure, pollution and resource-intensive ways of life are putting a huge strain on local fresh water supplies. By 2050, demand for food, water and energy is projected to grow by 30% to 50%. Meanwhile, more than 750 million people do not have adequate access to safe drinking water.

Boris Sullivan

Published

on

The world’s demand for fresh water is growing so fast that, by 2030, agriculture, industry and expanding cities will face such scarce supplies that the confrontation could disrupt economic development and threaten political stability and public health.

Loading...

People in places as disparate as north Africa, Central Valley, California, and India’s northern states, among others, are already facing similar threats to their livelihoods, while population growth, ageing infrastructure, pollution and resource-intensive ways of life are putting a huge strain on local fresh water supplies.

By 2050, demand for food, water and energy is projected to grow by 30% to 50%.

Meanwhile, more than 750 million people do not have adequate access to safe drinking water.

How can we hope to meet these demands without integrated policy reform and comprehensive solutions that take local conditions and a diversity of stakeholders into account? As it stands, ineffective financial incentives, institutional structures and a lack of trusted data make joint co-operation almost impossible.

The world’s capacity to respond is in doubt.

But some promising models are emerging quickly. The 2011 World Economic Forum book, Water Security – the Food, Energy, Water and Climate Nexus, and a recent conference about water, food and energy, hosted in Bonn by the German Government, framed the issues and developed comprehensive, cross-cutting science and policy recommendations.

Many governments are implementing innovative new policies to improve water management. Civil society, governments and businesses are coming together in organizations such as the 2030 Water Resources Group to help build common and comprehensive databases on water issues.

The Alliance for Water Stewardship and the UN Global Compact’s CEOWaterMandate are pioneering a new model of corporate water policy and management that facilitates collaboration among businesses, governments, NGOs and communities.

However, at current rates, the challenges are outpacing the solutions. We need to share accurate data more effectively to inform collective policy action. Even in our data-flooded age, localized information is often minimal, outdated or inaccessible.

We need a common open-source platform for collecting, interpreting and sharing trusted data from a variety of sources.

We need more sharing of innovations in technology, practice and policy.

We need to understand local and regional needs.

We need to engage with all stakeholder communities in a spirit of transparency and accountability.

We need to improve communications across business, government, NGOs, media and citizens to encourage greater policy awareness and participation.

Serious global investment in water security – financial and political – will nurture economic development, create a more stable political environment, and give hope and health to millions of people.

It’s the most powerful investment of time and energy we can make.

Authors: Stuart Orr, Global Freshwater Programme Manager, WWF, with support from J. Carl Ganter, Director, Circle of Blue, and Jeff Seabright, Vice-President, Environment and Water Resources, The Coca Cola Company; Members and Chair respectively of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security

You can read a longer version of this article and join in the debate at Rio+20 Dialogues (registration required).

For more about the Rio+20 Conference click here.

Visit source –

Water: managing the world’s most precious resource

Comments

Environment

Southeast Asia remains a hot spot for plastic pollution

The use of plastics is deeply embedded in our daily lives, in everything from grocery bags and cutlery to water bottles and sandwich wrap. But the quest for convenience has gone too far and we are failing to use plastics efficiently, wasting valuable resources and harming the environment.

Victoria Kwakwa

Published

on

Southeast Asia has emerged as a hot spot for plastic pollution because of rapid urbanization and a rising middle class , whose consumption of plastic products and packaging is growing due to their convenience and versatility.

Loading...
(more…)

Continue Reading

Environment

Diamonds are forever but “James Bond Island” in Phang Nga Bay may not

Boris Sullivan

Published

on

Thailand’s Department of Mineral Resources will assess the stability of the limestone karst towers, which make up the chain of islands, after several similar rock formations, in both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, have collapsed.

Loading...
(more…)

Continue Reading

Environment

Climate Change: how Asia-Pacific will affect the whole planet

Pursuing a green recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 might sound daunting, but it’s actually a great opportunity to direct recovery spending into stimulating sustainable jobs and growth and fight climate change.

Avatar

Published

on

Forget the poetic flap of a butterfly’s wings in Beijing causing rain in Central Park. Climate change issues in Asia-Pacific are measured in superlatives. The world’s biggest population. Two of the three largest carbon dioxide-emitting countries and the largest share of emissions globally.

Loading...
(more…)

Continue Reading

Most Viewed

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14,066 other subscribers

Latest

Trending