By Irene Gaitirira
Published August 23, 2015
World leaders, water experts and development professionals from 120 countries and representing governments, the private sector, multilateral organisations, civil society and academia are meeting in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, August 23-28, 2015 to seek solutions to the world’s growing water crisis during the annual World Water Week (WWW).
While some 1.8 billion people have no access to safe water and 2.4 billion others lack access to adequate sanitation, some 5, 000 people die every day from diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.
“While we need to ensure access to safe water for those 1.8 billion people who do not have it today,” Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the organisers of WWW, “we must also manage the global rise in demand for water from growing economies by increasing water productivity, and find incentives for using it more effectively. Water security is both a condition for, and a result of, sustainable development.”
Speakers at the Opening session on August 24 shall include the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven; the Prime Minister of Jordan, Abdullah Ensour; the President of the Marshall Islands, Christopher J. Loeak; the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Adnan Z. Amin; and Peru’s Minister of State for Environment and President of the COP20, Manuel Gerardo Pedro Pulgar-Vidal Otálora.
The Stockholm Water Prize shall be awarded to Rajendra Singh of India, for “his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need” during the week.
Other prizes that will be presented are the Stockholm Industry Water Award, which will be awarded, on August 23, to CH2M, a Colorado (USA)-based global service and engineering company, for “developing and advancing methods to clean water, and increasing public acceptance of recycled water”, and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize which, on August 25, shall be given to one national team out of the 29 competing nations.