UN calls for more focus on water supplies
December 31, 2002
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
The United Nations has launched the International Year of Freshwater. On December 12 in New York, UN Deputy Secreta...
The United Nations has launched the International Year of Freshwater. On December 12 in New York, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Frechette, said freshwater issues were at the heart of humankind’s hopes for peace and development in the 21st century.
“If we continue with business as usual, it will take only a little more than two decades for two-thirds of the world’s population to be living in moderate to severe water stress,” she warned. She added that though water scarcities are often seen as the cause for conflict, they can also create a platform for creativity with regards to new technologies and arrangements for cooperation.
The main goals for the Year of Freshwater will be to raise awareness and create a platform for new ideas and technologies that will increase participation “throughout all segments and levels of society.”
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for “Much more efficient irrigation, far less toxic agriculture and industry, and new investments in water infrastructure and services.”
In January the UN will issue the first edition of the World Water Development Report, a joint effort involving 23 UN agencies that provides a comprehensive view of the world’s water problems and ways of meeting future demand.