Water stress is increasingly present all across the world. If we do not take measures in the short term, the situation will be critical by the middle of this century and will seriously threaten the world's geopolitical balance. The data are compelling. Demographics, the growth of extractivism, and climate change are against us. On the positive side, we have the growing awareness of governments and companies and increasingly knowledgeable citizens.
The urgency of finding new forms of collaboration was a recurring message at World Water Week. We have exceeded the planetary water limits, and the need for a change of mindset in innovation and governance must involve all sectors and all countries.
Water science is essential for understanding and managing groundwater resources. It provides knowledge that should be accessible to all, especially those without access. It is the basis for agricultural self-sufficiency, health, and dignity. Our experience recovering wells and water bodies corroborates its importance in facing droughts with sustainable facilities.
Indigenous peoples inhabit a quarter of the planet's surface but protect 80% of our remaining biodiversity. They are seriously threatened by deforestation, industrial agriculture, tourism, and extractivism. They lose their land and water and bear the brunt of climate change. We have a responsibility to end their injustice, for they must help us make this world more livable.
Brazil's semi-arid areas face a growing climate challenge. Persistent droughts ruin family farms and damage ecosystems. Improving the education system is the best tool for resilience and adaptation to a future marked by water crises.
In Rwamwanja camp in Uganda, almost half of the refugees are of school age. Water and sanitation are inadequate and may jeopardize the future of thousands of families. Schools offer displaced people more than education: shelter, security, and care.
Recycling plastic waste to build schools and sanitation facilities introduces a valuable environmental and educational factor. In one of the most neglected areas of Côte d'Ivoire, we are collaborating on an innovative project to reverse the loss of quality education for young people, the basis for curbing migration.
Eradicating the scourge of open defecation is an essential condition for the progress of any community. A simple toilet and a tap from which water flows are the starting point for dignity and development; the satisfaction of possessing them is the best guarantee of a future based on a hygiene culture. Our experience in the Indian village of P. Thimmapuram proves it.
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