Experts call for tripling investment to solve water crisis

Stockholm, Sep 5 (EFE).- At the end of the World Water Week, experts invited to the international event insisted on the importance of tripling investment to solve the current water crisis, as well as to understand the “interconnection” between water, climate and biodiversity.

Various specialists spoke to EFE about the water crisis at World Water Week in Stockholm, where they discussed how to solve the most pressing problems related to the valuable liquid resource: from floods to droughts, pollution and universal access to drinking water and sanitation.

In the year in which another of the nine planetary boundaries set by the Stockholm Resilience Centre – that of freshwater use – has been declared breached, specialists commented on the urgency of implementing solutions to optimize the management of the resource threatened by the climate crisis.

“There are currently tremendous floods in Pakistan, in the Middle East there are severe droughts like the ones we are experiencing in Chile and in northern Mexico,” said Sergio Campos, the head of water and sanitation at the Inter-American Development Bank.

Campos said that there has been an opportunity to “reflect on all these issues, to highlight the value of drinking water and the challenge” that exists, a challenge that is increasingly complex because climate change “sets the bar higher and higher.”

“Droughts are worsening and floods cause greater damage, we have been saying this for many years,” said the expert, who believes that investments in water security should be tripled and “have a much higher priority level.”

This is “a race in which we all have to get there together if we want to win it” and in which, “if some get ahead of others, we are going to lose,” he said.

FEMSA Foundation Director Lorena Guillé-Laris also stressed the importance of speeding up the flow of resources, and in this sense points out the “fundamental role” of the private sector to “contribute to the mobilization of catalytic capital” and to be able to invest more quickly.

Guillé-Laris valued the work advanced this week, which in her opinion had contributed to “reimagine the systems for the new world of water”, and to understand “the interconnection that water has with biodiversity and climate.”

From the scientific community, climate and water expert Eddie Moors, rector at Unesco’s Delft Institute for Water Education and professor at the University of Amsterdam, called on policy makers to “please do not go in the direction” of a return to fossil fuels, something that is happening because of the energy crisis, he regretted.

If this direction is followed, he warns that in the long term, droughts and floods will increase and the problem will not be solved.

Moors also stressed the importance of water even for energy production from fossil fuels because “part of coal mining, for example, is transported through rivers and with droughts you will not be able to transport this coal to the power plants.”

He also mentioned other problems related to energy sources that need cooling water, as in the case of nuclear power.

The scientist stresses that “the time it takes from scientific evidence to action at the policy level is one of my biggest worries.”

That time “should be shortened,” Moors said, urging governments to listen to science, arguing that doing so has helped solve other environmental problems such as the ozone hole, for example, after the scientific community warned of the environmental and health impact of the gases used in refrigerators, CFCs.

With the scientific information, the industry changed the gas used for refrigeration and, “with that change, the ozone hole was prevented from getting bigger and bigger,” he said. EFE


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