World leaders and business met in Davos this week just as the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report revealed environmental factors as the most devastating risks to business and society and the most likely. Another major risk identified in the report are water crises, which are listed among the 5 most damaging risks, confirming a trend that started 8 years ago.
The World Water Council, together with key partners, many of whom are members of #ClimateIsWater, was actively engaged in enhancing and recognizing the essential role of water as a crucial resource to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (CoP24), taking place in Katowice, Poland from 3 to 14 December.
Financing water infrastructure will be both essential and urgent for countries to adapt to climate challenges and implement national commitments embodied in the NDCs. Jointly released by the World Water Council and the Global Water Partnership, the report ‘Investing in Water Infrastructure for Climate Adaptation: Innovative financing and funding models’ explores investments designed to increase our societies’ resilience through water infrastructure (WI4A).
This publication presents the strategic orientations endorsed by the WWC General Assembly for the period 2019-2021. It includes initiatives around water security, water and climate change, resilient communities and human settlements, financing water, and IWRM. In addition, it does not overlook the Council’s work on World Water Forums, creating relationships with key political actors, or valuing our members, all while seeking to strengthen our communications, governance and administration.
The 2016–2018 triennium delivered some of the most fruitful outcomes in the history of the World Water Council. Over the three years, the nine Council Task Forces and Working Groups launched ten new initiatives, drafted upwards of 50 publications and participated in over 80 events, including the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2018. The 8th World Water Forum, held in Brasilia in 2018, broke previous records.
On 1 December, the World Water Council announced its new Board of Governors, which will oversee and guide the Council’s work for the coming three years. The elections took place during the triennial General Assembly on 30 November and 1 December for which upwards of 250 participants from 35 countries gathered in Marseille, France.
Today, World Toilet Day, is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Around the world 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet, and 892 million practice open defecation. The consequences of exposure to human feces on this scale are devastating for public health, living and working conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world. Basic sanitation is widely recognized to have positive impacts on health and the economy, so why don’t cities do more to improve their sanitation systems?
Today, more than half the world’s population live in towns and cities. Demographic growth and migration may only exacerbate this trend and by 2050, 70% of the population could be living in urban areas. If we do not take the right measures, rapid urbanization will outpace formal planning. Cities and urban dwellers will be over-exposed to weather-related hazards and will be left with inadequate water and sanitation services. The consequences will be devastating for public health, economic productivity and the surrounding ecosystems.