Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Summary of World Water Week: Events, Ideas and Stories

World Water Week was celebrated from August 23 to 28 in Stockholm Sweden.The theme for the 25th anniversary of the event was "Water for Development." More than 3,300 delegates assembled from 130 countries to explore solutions to some of the most urgent water and development challenges.

The problems associated with water are both pressing and ubiquitous with almost 2 billion people lacking access to safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion people who lack access to a proper toilet. Contaminated water kills roughly two million people around the world every year. By 2030, the global population is expected to reach 8.5 billion and the human race could face a 40 percent water shortfall.

Social media figured prominently at the event amplifying the #VoiceofWater. The Twitter hashtag #WWWeek was used 7,000 times everyday, reaching around 1,12 million people over the course of the week.

There were a wide assortment of podcasts, webcasts, videos, workshops, plenaries, sessions, press briefings, exhibition activities, social events, articles, awards and something called SIWASofa which is a cross between a speakers’ corner and interview studio.

Sofa addressed a range of topics, interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing. Interviewees included high-level representatives from the likes of World Bank, UNDP, Veolia, Sanitation and Water For All, Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation and SIWI.

This year's Stockholm Water Prize Laureate Rajendra Singh (aka "Water man of India"), the 2015 Stockholm Industry Water Award winner was CH2M and the winner of Stockholm Junior Water Prize was Perry Alagappan.

For more information click here.

Best Water Ideas

SIWA's #BestWaterIdeas campaign is designed to increase awareness about the importance of finding solutions to the water crisis. In 2015 Going Vegan was the most popular idea winning 58 percent of the votes. In addition to other environmental impacts meat production is water intense compared to producing other crops. It requires 15,500 litres of water to produce 1 kg beef; this can be contrasted to 180 litres for 1 kg tomatoes and 250 litres for 1 kg potatoes. The virtual water we eat (i.e. the water needed to produce the crops on our plates) constitutes the majority of all water we use, and can be as large as 4000 litres of water/capita/day.

There were over 150 water ideas this year and here are some of the best ideas: Rainwater harvesting, access to tap water, the waterless toilet, sari as a water purifier, rehabilitating wastewater, installing wells close to villages, desalinating ocean water and dams to store water.

For more information click here.

Best Water Stories 

There are literally hundreds of stories that were spawned during World Water Week. This includes how to access clean drinking water, The Water Wars Myth, Water and COP21, water as a human right, local responses to the water crisis, the future of water, water energy and climate, water and development, water and agriculture,

For more information click here.

Next year World Water Week will take place from August 28 to September 2. The theme in 2016 will be: "Water for Sustainable Growth," it will focus on inclusive access to water for everyone.

Water for Development: World Water Week 2015
Water is a Key to Sustainable Development
Climate Change Increases Risks of Water Borne Diseases Contracted by Swimming
Beaches are Facing Environmental and Climate Threats
World Water Week 2014
The 2014 World Water Development Report (fifth edition): Water and Energy
World Water Week 2013: Water Cooperation - Building Partnerships
World Water Day 2013: International Year of Water Cooperation

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