International cooperation must not remain just a goal. Achieving effective global alliances is essential to confront the climate and humanitarian crises we are experiencing. We must move from declarations of good intentions to tangible and binding commitments. Civil society is responsible for mobilizing and pushing political and institutional power in this direction. This is especially evident in the problems of access to water and sanitation.
In recent years, severe droughts and heat waves have triggered a water crisis in the basin of the Euphrates, Syria's main river and the cradle of the first civilization in history. Its deterioration threatens the survival of a population exhausted by more than a decade of war in which lack of water has been used as a ruthless weapon.
International action to protect the seas has not yet begun. Although we understand its importance now more than ever, the recent Ocean Conference in New York has not resulted in any agreement beyond declarations of good intentions. Promoting and disseminating the idea of thinking about water, regardless of whether it is fresh or salty, is a necessary step to unblock the disastrous international standstill that is undermining all SDGs.
Water must be at the top of the world's agenda. It is key to all human activities and forces us to reconsider a new approach to nature. The recent World Water Week concludes by advocating profound social transformations as the basis for solving problems on a global scale. The experts pointed out that there are many more solutions than are usually talked about.
Urban runoff from heavy downpours releases a vast amount of water that is lost, pollutes, and causes flooding. Controlling this water that cannot flow through impermeable soil and taking advantage of its enormous potential is one of the keys to the regenerative city envisaged in SDG 11.
Making the food system sustainable is one of the major challenges of this decade. Beyond health, there is growing evidence of the impact of the food system on climate, the environment and access to water. Climatologists warn that this link must be considered to achieve the SDGs.
More than 340,000 children die each year from diarrhea. In addition to unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene practices, there is a lack of awareness of the health risks associated with these deficiencies. The short film Thought of Water, afinalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, explains one of the most common causes: children share the water of a pond with animals and their own feces. The eradication of childhood diarrhea will be a sure sign of the achievement of SDG 6.
We are under-investing in ocean science. We need to know more about such harmful mechanisms as ocean acidification, warming, and pollution. So far, the oceans have protected us from the worst effects of climate change, but there is great uncertainty about their ability to continue to do so in the future.
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