World Water Week (August 16-22) brought some interesting information and important research findings to the world. We got a peek at the true water usage of developed countries, we identified some critical concerns for Indians and all of us who rely in Indian products, we learned more about water usage for beer, we saw the installation of the first commercial-scale hydrokinetic power plant in the US, and more. The following is a wrap-up of some key topics from the World Water Week Conference in Sweden.
From Stockholm, where the 2009 World Water Week Conference was held, the message was clear regarding climate change. Water is a key factor in climate change. It is a very critical medium through which humans and all of life will “feel” the effects of climate change. It is already affecting Africa. And it is likely to be a factor for the whole world if climate change continues to go in the direction it is going in. Water and climate change was a focus in the conference’s plenary session, and the conference leaders made it clear that the climate change talks in Copenhagen in December need to include water as a key topic. Adaptation to and mitigation of climate change impacts concerning water is a critical aspect of climate change.
How much water we are really using is invisible to us when we eat a bowl of rice, drink a cup of coffee, or even drink a beer. This is all because we live in such a global economy now that our everyday products come from all parts of the world and we do not even get a passing glimpse at the water that is used to produce these products. A key conclusion from the conference in Sweden was that managing water across borders is a major issue of concern and opportunity. There are many political and economic issues that come into play with this, but acknowledging this is a first step.
In all ways, we need a sustainable world of water in order to live happily and healthily. Hopefully, we can address the concerns of today and find the opportunities of tomorrow.