Oct 13, 2016

Water Scarcity & Drought Summit Gathers World Leaders

Event discusses policy, technologies & more

drought, water scarcity, summit, australia, policy

On Oct. 10 in Brisbane, Australia, 200 leaders from the public and private sectors, including government ministers, business and civil society leaders, and scientists took part in a historic summit on water scarcity and drought.

Driven both by climate change and poor water management, droughts are becoming more frequent and water scarcity is growing in severity in all regions of the world. The World Economic Forum ranks water security as the top global risk facing societies, economies and businesses over the next decade

“The effects of water scarcity and drought will only intensify if we do not act,” said Ger Bergkamp, executive director for the International Water Assn. “The summit will launch the world’s first public-private action agenda solely dedicated to water scarcity and drought: DroughtAction. It will enable participating countries, organizations, and water-dependent companies to discuss and agree what needs to be done in order to meet key elements of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

“As a country where managing drought and water scarcity has always been an absolute necessity, Australia—the host country for the Drought & Scarcity Summit—has had to put into practice the idea that water is a scarce economic good to be allocated and used efficiently and wisely for the benefit of all people,” said Gary Jones, chief executive for the Australian Water Partnership, a co-organizer of the summit.

Water scarcity and drought affects 4 billion people and impairs cities, industries and the environment. In all these areas, building resilience to drought and scarcity requires global leadership from a range of stakeholders. DroughtAction initially will comprise the leadership from 20 companies, governments in 12 countries, organizations, civil society and academia. 

The summit is part of the World Water Congress and Exhibition, held Oct. 9 to 14 in Brisbane. Hosting keynotes, roundtables, and plenary discussions, it debates effective policy and institutions, best approaches, effective technologies to reduce water demand and losses, reuse of water, desalination, replenishment and refilling reservoirs.

“There are many strengthening mechanisms that need to be put into place to ensure lasting change. These mechanisms include sharing information and knowledge, spreading best practices and mobilizing public and private investments. Altogether, these initiatives will generate the momentum necessary to address water scarcity and drought,” Bergkamp said.

See the latest video on drought at www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4OMwhcGoks&feature=youtu.be. See the website on DroughtAction at https://droughtaction.com/.