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World Water Under Pressure

  • August 15th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

drought-eu.jpgA major world gathering in Stockholm this week is looking for solutions to a worldwide problem with future supplies of water. This report is by Sian Graham.


To meet the challenge of global water scarcity 2500 of the world’s leading professionals in water management, business, government, science, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs, training institutes and United Nations agencies will participate in the 17th annual

It may be small consolation to Australian industries suffering from drought, and city people worried about heavy water restrictions, to know that almost all countries are going through the same kinds of trouble – thanks to climate change.


The organising committee, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is calling for governments around the world to better manage how they use their existing water resources.

They are demanding governments take the necessary and sometimes painful measures to decrease losses in water delivery infrastructure and irrigation, to cut subsidies to agriculture, and to put in place realistic water-pricing measures – all before attempting to boost water supplies.

Held annually since 1991 the World Water Week event is an important arena for members of the private and public sectors and of civil society to discuss how water resources are used around the world and what actions are required to resolve such challenges.


The overall theme of the conference this year is: “Progress and Prospects on Water: Striving for Sustainability in a Changing World.”

Plenary sessions, panel debates, social events, facility tours and prize-giving ceremonies will combine to provide the week’s varied programme.

One discussion on climate change, water and vulnerability has already inspired passionate debate over the most relevant question left on the climate table – What do we do now?

Moderated by Mr. Adrian Finighan of CNN International, the distinguished panel featured Professor Jörg Imberger of the University of Western Australia, South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry H.E. Mrs Lindiwe Hendricks, Dr Monirul Mirza of Environment Canada, Dr Pavel Kabat of Earth System Science & Climate Change Group, Mr Colin Sabol of ITT Fluid Technology, and Human Development Report Co-author Mr Claes Johansson.

The speakers made appeals for a shift in global attitudes, priorities and development models, and called on governments to take climate and water issues more seriously.


The European Union will use the conference to present its research achievements in the field of Integrated Water Resources Management.

It has spent over €130-million under its Sixth Framework Programme for Research (2002-2006) on Integrated Water Research Management projects focusing on the developing world.

The declared aim is to move towards a water-efficient and water-saving economy, by implementing policies against adverse effects of climate change.


“Governments Must Invest More in Anti-Water Scarcity Measures”, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). (15.8.07)

“Progress and Prospects on Water: Striving for Sustainability in a Changing World”; Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). (15.8.07)
Picture: European Commission