Jul 26, 2016

Leaders Discuss Water Scarcity at African Water Week

International Water Assn. executive director encourages collective plan

tanzania, african water week, international water association, drought

Global water professionals and leaders met to discuss water scarcity and the role of water in global change—achieving national development priorities, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and adapting to climate change—at African Water Week July 18 to 22 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The International Water Assn. Executive Director Ger Bergkamp encouraged a collective plan for postive change.

“To counter water scarcity and drought in Africa and all other regions, we need decisive action; nothing less than a modern day ‘Marshall Plan’ that brings together government policy and private entrepreneurship,” said Bergkamp.

Drought management progressively concerns water demand-management and effective water allocation policies and incentives.

“Ministers need to increasingly coordinate dedicated strategies and action plans at national and sub-national levels,” Bergkamp said. 

To encourage progress, water should be connected to the major sectors and interests that drive economies: agriculture, energy, urban, industrial and service. It is also critical to keep the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change in mind when reviewing existing public water politics, regulations and investment strategies.

“A first step is to create a global coalition to tackle water scarcity and drought," Bergkamp said.

The International Water Association is organizing a Water Scarcity and Drought Summit in October in Brisbane, Australia. The summit, hosted in a country only recently emerging from a severe and prolonged drought, gathers government officials, practitioners, policy makers, industry leaders and civil society leaders to discuss ways to fight water scarcity and drought.