Despite the commonly held belief and saying that ‘water is life’, there is enough evidence to conclude that there is a lot more effort needed to preserve and protect the world’s water bodies – often subjected to pollution from human and economic activities.
Speaking at the opening of the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation from the Government of Sweden warned that with current trends, 52 per cent of the world’s population and 40 per cent of global grain production could be put at risk by 2051.
“Poor and marginalized populations will be disproportionately affected, which will further worsen the rising inequalities,” he said and called for better water governance.
According to the Un Environmental Programme (UNEP) 80 per cent of global wastewater goes untreated, containing everything from human waste to highly toxic industrial discharges. The wastewater goes to pollute freshwater and affecting the suitability for amny human uses such as drinking, bathing, and agriculture. In addition, pollution of freshwater ecosystems can impact the habitat and quality of life of fish and other wildlife.
Welcoming participants, Torgny Holmgren, the Executive Director of Stockholm International Water Institute, the organisers of the programme stressed the importance of using water to solve global challenges.
“Many in our societies are not aware of the vital role that water plays in realizing prosperity, eradicating poverty and tackling the climate crisis. Together, we can change that perception and unlock the potential of water-related solutions,” he said.
World Water Week 2019 being held from the 25-30 August in Stockholm, Sweden, is under the theme ‘Water for Society: Including all.’
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi