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World Water Week Closes: Values of Water Must Be Better Understood

2017-09-02 00:17
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STOCKHOLM, Sept. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Understanding and recognizing the many different values attached to water is a key to more efficient use - a must as more people have to share the world's limited freshwater.  

World Water Week closed on Friday, having welcomed over 3,200 participants from 133 countries.

Water is the lifeline of our civilization. Without it, there is no hope of sustaining households, industries, food and energy production, or such key functions as hospitals.

A growing global population is creating a higher demand for freshwater. Climate-driven changes in weather patterns, leading to extended droughts and devastating floods, further exacerbate pressure on our common water resources. Access to safe water is necessary in order to implement the global development agenda.

"With increasing scarcity, we must recognize the many values attached to water, be it economic, social, environmental, cultural or religious. I believe that by re-valuing water, we will develop a deeper understanding and respect for this precious resource, and thus be better prepared for more efficient use," said SIWI's Executive Director Torgny Holmgren

Throughout World Water Week, links were made between the different values of water, including its monetary value. "I believe we will see more diverse pricing structures in the future, allowing for more economical and efficient use," said Holmgren.

Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation in South Africa, stressed that we need to embrace new technologies. "We cannot afford to continue to do what we did yesterday and expect to see a different result tomorrow. We must be bold!" she said.

Mark Watts from C40, that gathers city mayors, spoke about risks that big cities face: "Water pattern disruption is often the first sign of serious climate impacts and 70 per cent of our member cities are already seeing the significant and negative impacts of climate change. 64 per cent of our member cities face significant risk from surface and flash floods," he said.

During World Water Week, Stockholm Junior Water Prize was awarded to Ryan Thorpe and Rachel Chang, USA, by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Stockholm Water Prize was presented to Professor Stephen McCaffrey, USA, by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, and patron of the prize.

Information about World Water Week and Stockholm International Water Institute: http://www.worldwaterweek.org and http://www.siwi.org

Contact: Rowena Barber, rowena.barber@siwi.org, +46-8-1213-6039  

Source: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
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