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.
Groundwater extraction and large dams affect the tilt of the Earth's axis and the rotation speed. These are irrelevant phenomena, but they invite us to reflect on our accumulated power.
Losses from natural disasters reached USD 275 billion in 2022. Only 125 billion were covered by insurance. The World Bank takes action and warns that poverty is synonymous with vulnerability. Climate forecasts force us to take a different approach and face a management challenge that cannot be postponed.
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.
The heat absorbed by cities affects the health of their inhabitants, alters local weather, and pollutes water. Fighting this phenomenon is possible and necessary for a future in which more than 70% of the population will live in cities. Bringing nature back into the asphalt and concrete is the solution.
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.
The climate crisis expresses itself through water. Droughts, floods, desertification, melting ice... These phenomena challenge our capacity to adapt and directly affect most SDGs. We must place water at the center of all strategies to achieve resilience.
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