The organization is encouraging collaboration to address the actions required to ensure global water sustainability
Government ministers from approximately 170 countries with responsibility for water and management of national water policies will join thousands of water experts and industry professionals from April 12 to 17, 2015, at the 7th World Water Forum in Korea.
As delegates gather, the International Water Assn. (IWA) is calling for bold, collaborative action from governments, policymakers, business and community leaders, academics and practitioners to address the critical actions required to ensure global water sustainability at a time of unprecedented challenges: rapid urbanization, population growth, water availability for food and energy, climate change and increased water scarcity.
“2015 represents a potential turning point for all those concerned with the future of water - a year of great opportunity or palpable risk,” said Dr. Ger Bergkamp, IWA executive director. “Opportunity, because 2015 is the year when Sustainable Development Goals will be set by the United Nations, including a specific goal on water; it is the year when governments will strive to reach global agreement on halting climate change, the impact of which is felt strongly through water; but also opportunity, because water professionals know what needs to be done to create the blue-green revolution needed to secure water sustainability.
“Risk, because if we fail to capitalize fully on these once-in-a-generation opportunities, there will be profound and negative consequences on future societies, economies, peace and sustainability. We must act together, [and] act responsibly and swiftly; there is little time to lose.”
According to IWA, the 7th World Water Forum should be a timely catalyst for change. Individual countries, through their government ministries, can commit to more progressive and ambitious national agendas, delivering institutional reforms and transforming water management through legislation and regulation that stimulates a transition to sustainability and resilience. At the same time, water industry professionals, scientists and engineers, must each play their part by influencing and driving policy through innovations in practice and technology.
“The water risk facing the world has never been greater,” Bergkamp said. “Yet, through collaboration and determination on the part of all stakeholders, there are clear opportunities to address water challenges and deliver a sustainable water future for all. Water solutions will play a key role in addressing climate change, societal and economic development, population growth, urbanization and food and energy security. We all have a stake in the future of water sustainability, we must all be more ambitious in capturing opportunities and promoting new solutions to water challenges for an overall sustainable world.”