Sep 02, 2014

Water Experts to Gather at IWA World Congress

Congress delegates to call for the human right to water and sanitation to be expressly included in new UN Sustainable Development Goals

IWA World Water Congress sustainable development goals

More than 5,000 water experts and industry professionals from approximately 90 countries will come together at the International Water Assn.’s (IWA) World Water Congress and Exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal, Sept. 21 to 26, 2014, for five days of debate to identify and define new solutions to tackle the global water crisis.

Worldwide, more than 750 million people still lack access to safe drinking water; 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation. Open defecation is the reality for nearly one billion people. Nearly all of these people live in developing and emerging economies, and their situation is exacerbated by population growth, rapid urbanization and chronic underinvestment in water and sanitation infrastructure.

The congress coincides with another debate taking place in New York, where the United Nations General Assembly will agree a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to replace the longstanding Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) and set the agenda for poverty reduction and improving the health, welfare and rights of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens over the next 15 years. 

As the global association for water professionals, IWA will call on the UN General Assembly to adopt water as a stand-alone SDG titled, "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all," which has been drafted by a working group assembled specifically to address the SDGs.

Delegates also will review the latest scientific findings and share knowledge on leading-edge water technologies, and propose effective regulatory systems to manage water and sanitation in a period of unprecedented water challenges. These include growing competition for water resources from industry, agriculture, nature and cities, all of which are impacted by climate change, population growth, changing consumption patterns and rapid urbanization.