International experts call for sustainable use of water

May 22, 2013 9:24 am 

MILAN, Italy, May 22 — International officials and experts have called for sustainable use of water at a conference on water strategy held in Italy's Milan on Tuesday.

In a world with nearly one billion people without access to drinking water and millions dying from water-borne diseases every year, sustainable use of water is of dramatic emergency.

In order to meet the targets of halving the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation set in the UN Millennium Development Goals, getting the right policies, strategies and actions in place during the next three years is absolutely critical.

The conference, entitled "Saving the future drop by drop", was organized by the UN Secretary-Generals' Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) and Expo Milano 2015 with the intent of launching a common "water strategy".

"A water reuse revolution is being and must be accelerated," said Margaret Catley-Carlson, Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Water Security for the World Economic Forum and a member of the UNSGAB.

A recent study showed that wastewater potentially contains energy and is thus an untapped resource. Moreover human health will improve at higher rates if water conservation incentives are enacted, she noted.

China's Water Resources Minister and UNSGAB member Chen Lei said in his address to the conference that in recent years China has successfully overcome drinking water difficulties for more than 300 million rural residents and promoted modern irrigation as well as drainage technologies.

However, solving water problems requires "global cooperation and concerted efforts,"Chen Lei added, highlighting China's intention to elevate the status of water sustainability on the international agenda and to contribute to the implementation of a water strategy.

Italy's Foreign Minister Emma Bonino stressed that Italy has listed water usage as one of the main issues of its foreign policy, as "a water agenda means an agenda for peace, social inclusion, rights and development". (PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/UTB

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