Picture: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Picture: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Care for water ‘deserves priority’

By Kamcilla Pillay Time of article published Dec 8, 2011

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With wars for water being forecast as soon as 2050, some water stewardship bodies are urging negotiators to take finance around water issues into consideration for any policy they adopt at the 17th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17)..

The Climate Action Partnership said in its Water Security and Climate Change Factsheet that it was seeing the demand for water increase with population growth, urbanisation, industrial development and the consequent need for food production.

“At the same time, increased drought and flooding, changes in rainfall patterns, sea-level rises and glacial retreat compound water scarcity,” said the organisation.

The Global Water Partnership’s senior network officer, Alex Simalabwi, said there was an urgent need to integrate the adoption of other policies, such as renewable energy, with that of water security and climate resilience.

“We need governments to invest in developing capacity of institutions and provide knowledge products to support their endeavours,” he said. Governments should also incorporate water security into their national development policy.

The group has also put together a programme whose goals are to have water security topping national agendas.

Dr Pervaiz Amir of the partnership in south Asia said that extreme weather events, such as the recent flooding in Pakistan and the decades-long drought in east Africa, were wake-up calls.

“These events show that we need more than disaster management – we need to make a move towards scientific adaptation,” he said.

Cameron Ironside, the programme director of the International Hydropower Association, said water was important as a generator of clean energy. “Hydropower is constant – solar and wind power are intermittent,” he said.

The organisations called on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to give recognition to and provide a financing mechanism for water resources management.

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