Leading water professionals have gathered at the International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress and Exhibition to discuss the world’s water issues in Busan, South Korea.
The five-day conference will create a better or easier opportunity to expand the client base, meet new research partners, exchange specialty and ‘big picture’ knowledge, and create new solutions to the world’s water questions.
Combating worldwide pollution of rivers, lakes and oceans and, at the same time, meeting the world’s water demand involves massive challenges and opportunities.
With rapid urbanization, adding 800,000 urban citizens per week, we need a huge mobilisation of resources, know-how and political will.
At the World Water Congress, this week, experts from more than 100 countries are gathered to define game-changing solutions and unprecedented innovations to turn the tide.
In Korea, 40 per cent of the USD$38 billion stimulus package during the global economic crisis was allocated to its water and waste management.
It provided a major push to accelerate the building-up of Korean water and wastewater infrastructure to world-class standards. It provides a clear example of putting Korea’s ‘Green Growth’ into practice.
Participants and international leaders will be apt for game-changing innovations in water and sanitation.
The innovation push will be focused on low and middle-income countries, where the needs are greatest.
Ms Jaehyang So, Manager of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme, says “many developing countries struggle to make water and sanitation a national priority, given many other critical and competing sectors”.
“Experiences will be shared on how developing nations are tackling their water challenges and how Korea has been instrumental in supporting these efforts.”
The innovation push is focused on tackling competing demands for water to supply cities and industries, produce food, generate electricity and maintain living ecosystems.
Optimising water use between sectors will be critical to overcome future water shortages.
“We need to think and work smartly with portfolios of water supplies from different sources to meet a variety of increasing demands,” says GerBergkamp, regional group and programme director for the IWA.
Professor PavelKabat, Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA, Austria), said water drives major economic sectors – cities, industries, energy, agriculture and the environment and needs careful planning and investment.
“Significant progress in addressing pressing water issues can only come if we leave one-dimensional solutions behind,” says Professor Kabat.
He is expected to announce a new IIASA initiative to produce a series of world ‘water scenarios’ for the next few decades. GNA