The United Nations is set to address the excessive water scarcity this week. The global crisis that has been long overlooked as the welfare of billions of people is at stake.
“It’s the first time in 46 years that the world comes together on the issue of water,” said Henk Ovink, water issues special envoy for the Netherlands, which is co-organizing the UN Water Summit Wednesday through Friday along with Tajikistan.“It’s now or never, as we say, a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” he said.
We take too much water from our ground. We pollute the water that is left and there is now so much water in the air that it is impacting our environment, our economies, our communities, through climate change,” he added.
This means there is drought in some places and flooding in others, in a cycle that is worsening around the world because of global warming triggered by human activity.
The UN says 2.3 billion people today live in countries with water stress.
At the UN conference this week, governments, and actors in the public and private sectors are invited to present proposals for a so-called water action agenda.
“The Water Summit must result in a bold Water Action Agenda that gives our world’s lifeblood the commitment it deserves,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.
Some 6,500 people are expected to attend the conference with its more than 500 related events. They include 20 heads of state or government, dozens of ministers and hundreds of representatives of civil society and the business world.