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.
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.
Groundwater saves lives and is vital to eradicating poverty in places where the only chance to drink is to go to a pond. Knowing and using their aquifers is the basis of health and development in communities without access to safe water. In Tanzania, with a simple well, we will transform the life of a village.
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.
Freshwater resources are diminishing. Poor management and global warming are the leading causes. Large-scale investment in access to water and sanitation and prevention of impacts such as droughts and floods must be mobilized. The benefits will be financial and human.
Awareness of the climate crisis has increased significantly, but less so than the willingness of people in the industrialized world to change their daily lives. The latest surveys show this. The case of water is an exception.
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