World Water Week begins today in Stockholm

World Water Week in Stockholm – an annual meeting to discuss our planet’s crucial water-related issues – focuses in 2011 on water issues related to urbanization.

More than 2,500 politicians, business leaders, innovators, and representatives of international organizations are meeting today (August 21, 2011) at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The meeting will run through August 27. A focus of this year’s meeting: to respond to global water challenges caused by humanity’s rapid population growth and urbanization.

A waterfall in Croatia. Image Credit: Michael Moore, SIWI

A new United Nations report issued August 21 at the start of World Water Week calls for better water and food management to prevent crises as continued rapid global population growth in this century puts stress on natural resources. The report says that more than 1.5 billion people on Earth already live in areas where water is scarce. But it says that if the number of humans rises from the current seven billion to at least nine billion – as expected by 2050 – more people will face water and food shortages.

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A river in East Timor. Image Credit: Manfred Matz, SIWI

World Water Week is an annual meeting place for the planet’s most urgent water-related issues. Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), it brings together experts, practitioners, decision makers and business innovators from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions.

In over 100 seminars, workshops and events spread throughout the week, participants will meet under the theme “Responding to Global Challenges: Water in an Urbanising World.” Their aim is to find sustainable solutions for reusing limited water resources when catering to the domestic, industrial, energy and agricultural needs of urbanization.

Inside the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. The United Nations report issued Monday says more than 1.5 billion people already live in areas where water is scarce. Image Credit: Håkan Tropp, SIWI

World Water Week in Stockholm is a global forum to review progress and promote partnerships on international processes related to water and development. This year’s attendees will include over 30 ministers and high-level government officials, city mayors, scientists, heads of U.N. bodies and other international organizations, water professionals and business leaders from over 100 countries.

Following the opening session, there will be a live broadcast panel discussion with mayors from India, Rwanda, Philippines, China, France, the U.S., Brazil and Sweden.

During the week, the Stockholm Water Prize will be presented to Stephen R. Carpenter of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose research on the interaction of humans and lakes has helped scientists and policy makers save lakes and their biodiversity. Other prizes include the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, given to one national team from 28 competing nations, and the Stockholm Industry Water Award, presented this year to Nestlé for its leadership and performance in improving water management in its internal operations and throughout its supply chain.

Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River, USA. In many major food-producing regions, including the plains of northern China, India’s Punjab and the western United States, water limits are already being reached or breached. Image Credit: Britt-Louise Andersson, SIWI

Bottom line: World leaders and innovators convene in Stockholm, Sweden today (August 21, 2011), for World Water Week. The meeting will continue until August 27. The goal of the meeting is to seek answers to problems related to the theme “Responding to Global Challenges: Water in an Urbanizing World.”

World Water Week Social Media Hub

World Water Week

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