STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 22 / PRNewswire-AsiaNet / –
Global leaders convening today at the opening session of the 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm called for increased investments in disaster-resilient infrastructure and smarter water management to avoid droughts, floods and pollution from further threatening the food, energy, and water security in a rapidly urbanising world.
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The number of people living in cities is expected to reach to 80 per cent of the world’s population by 2050. Most of this growth is happening in areas at risk of both water shortages and disastrous floods.
Addressing the week’s participants, Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) warned that “we run the risk of losing the battle on water and sanitation in many cities around the world, and that is a fight we cannot afford to lose.”
Over the course of the week, the convening experts will explore the smartest options to ensure that limited water resources are allocated to meet the growing demands from municipalities, agriculture, industries, energy utilities and households, in balance with nature’s capacity.
“Cities provide great economies of scale and offer excellent opportunities for effective infrastructure development, for increased re-use of water and waste, and for more efficient use of water and energy,” added Mr. Berntell.
Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson stressed that “increased access to clean water supplies and sanitation is an important catalytic force for development. The costs of not acting far exceed the costs of well-functioning, sustainable water resource management.”
During the week, H.M. King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden will present the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize to the Professor Stephen R. Carpenter of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his distinguished work to protect lakes’ ecosystems. Other prizes that will be presented during the week are the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.
About the World Water Week in Stockholm
The World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual meeting place for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues. Organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), it brings together 2,500 global experts, practitioners, decision makers and business innovators to foster new thinking and develop solutions.
Source: Stockholm International Water Institute