World Water Week is the largest and edgiest conference in Europe on global water issues, attending where all the big names and soon-to-be big names of the water sector are. World Water Week is observed every year from 23rd August to 1st September.
The theme of this year is “Seeing The Unseen: The Value of Water”. The conference is a menagerie of decision-makers, business leaders, city planners, activists, startups, entrepreneurs, executives, PR people, general water enthusiasts, and researchers from all over the world. This includes the hundreds of people watching online.
Expectations to explore new ways of managing water and to share lessons learned and exchange knowledge to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges: from food security and health to agriculture, technology, biodiversity, and climate.
All through water and valuing water differently.....
- Through strengthening the value of water for nature and climate.
- Through appreciating the value of water for people and development.
- Through grasping the financial and economic value of water.
Yet, ironically, the stakes have never… been… higher.
They’ve never been higher for 1.6 billion people left without safely managed drinking water supplies.
For the 2.8 billion people denied their right to safely managed sanitation services …or the 1.9 billion without basic hand hygiene facilities.
And they’ve never been higher for+733 million people who live in countries with high and critical levels of water stress.
These daunting and intimidating statistics should remind us of the enormity and atrocity of the challenge ahead.
We already know that. Probably not in numbers but in day-to-day life experience..
We observe a constant continuum of change that is altering the context for development.
Economic downturns, record unemployment, food shortages, famine, and fuel crises, pandemics, and war.
Therefore, never before has the urgent need been greater for us to value the water differently, connect universally as water connects us, exchange knowledge, and expand innovation.
We have seen it through..
Water-related projects that build national and regional capacity to protect the environment and human health.
- Initiatives that include education, training, and research to measure and understand surface and groundwater systems.
- Huge efforts to legislate and regulate clean water systems whether in small basins and aquifers or in transboundary and international basins.
- Massive work to provide inclusive WASH infrastructure, services, and products.
- Effective and inclusive capacity-building programs worldwide.
More importantly, We learned that the power structures have shifted…
The innovative solution will not come from a dusty corridor of a governmental building…
They didnot sit back .. They didnot wait for others to lead..
Rather youth around the world jumped in.. They reached out and created initiatives, programmes and projects, and built networks… they designed new ways to bring clean water to people who need it most..
They harnessed technological innovation for the sake of accelerating the sustainable development goals..
And there’s one more thing.
As they comprehend that progress counts only, and only when it is shared, they collaborated across boundaries, those boundaries that used to divide.
After all, you’ve grown up in a seamless world, where boundaries lose their meaning.
If any message I took from attending the online sessions of the 2022 World Water Week.. I may say..
Through an inclusive water sector in all dimensions and levels,
we could beam a bold new message to the universe.
Fully and safely accessed clear water means, no one goes hungry, no one goes thirsty, and no one gets left behind.