World Water Week, the leading meeting-place for the global water community, focuses on the link between water, ecosystems and human development. A record number of 3,700 participants meet in Bluewater's home city, Stockholm from 26-31 August to discuss concrete solutions to the escalating water challenges.
“With the rapidly growing demand for water, it is becoming increasingly clear that water is everybody’s issue. Scarcity of water has become the new normal in so many parts of the world,” said Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI, which organizes World Water Week.
In his welcome address on Monday, Mr. Holmgren called for a shift towards more green infrastructure solutions, noting that they are inherently multi-functional: “City parks retain rain, improve the microclimate, contribute to biodiversity - and look good doing so. Green solutions are, in addition, also often much more resilient than grey. They tend to bend rather than break under pressure. They can repair themselves and restore their functionality also after significant damage.”
Åsa Regnér, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, Director for the Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships Bureau, at UN Women described lack of water as a root cause of poverty and inequality since “only in Sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water, equivalent to a year’s worth of labour by the entire workforce in France”.
Karin Wanngård, Mayor of Stockholm, pointed to the risk from populism and short-sightedness but also felt that cities were increasingly coming together to find new solutions, adding: “I hope that this week will help the global community to get closer to the goal of a sustainable world.”
Bluewater welcomes all the debate at World Water Week, especially as we have put sustainability and removing single use plastic bottles at the very heart of our business vision and mission. We believe very much in the power of human ingenuity to solve many of the water problems the world faces today . Our leading-edge water purifiers daily demonstrate around the world that solutions to water scarcity already exist by delivering point-of-use access to clean water using both traditional and non-traditional water sources, even in highly-developed Sweden where we are turning Baltic Sea water into pristine drinking water to help save sparsely populated island communities from drought.