STOCKHOLM, Sweden – World leaders, water experts and development professionals are in Stockholm to jointly find solutions to the world’s several escalating water crises.
The 2015 World Water Week, themed Water for Development, welcomes over 3,000 participants from more than 120 countries, representing governments, academia, international organizations, civil society, and the corporate sector.
Water is the foundation for all human and societal progress. Soon, a decision on the Sustainable Development Goals will be followed by a new climate deal at COP21. Water’s role in these processes is crucial. With water availability severely altered by climate change, and a growing world population needing more food, time is not on our side.
“From the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, to Sao Paulo, California and China, people’s perseverance is being tested. We can no longer take a steady water supply for granted,” said Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI.
The Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven said, “When the international community is shaping a new sustainable development agenda, water management and allocation must be at its heart. Not only as a separate goal but as an essential vehicle for development and health.”
Talking about climate change and the effect it has on his small island nation, the President of the Marshall Islands, Christopher J. Loeak said: “As the leader of my country I cannot look my people in the eyes and with good conscience say that everything will be ok when I know the world continues to travel down a very destructive path.”
The Prime Minister of Jordan, Abdulla Ensour, described the extreme pressure his country is under due to the combination of water scarcity and a very large refugee population.
During the Week, three prizes are awarded. On 23 August, the Stockholm Industry Water Award was given to the company CH2M. On 25 August, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize will be awarded to one national team out of 29 competing nations by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. On 26 August, the Stockholm Water Prize will be given to Rajendra Singh. It will be awarded by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden.