The Budapest Water Summit (8-11 October) is focusing on the vital role of water in sustainable development and food security, and the challenges posed by a changing climate.
Only 2% of the world’s water resources are made up of freshwater. This scarce resource however plays a crucial role in all segments of nature, society and economy. In view of the projected growth in popular demand for water and an accelerating climate change it is expected that by 2030 some 40% of the world’s population will suffer from water shortages.
“We must address unsustainable use,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the opening session. “We must use what we have more equitably and wisely. We cannot expect governments to do this alone. Guaranteeing a water secure world will require the full engagement of all actors, not least the world of business,” he told the session attended by heads of U.N. agencies including WMO Secretary-General and current UN-Water chair Michel Jarraud.
At a high-level panel discussion 9 October: “How to serve a growing population with water in a changing climate?” Mr Jarraud highlighted the need for more and better climate services to cope with the challenges. Improved water management is one of the priorities of the Global Framework for Climate Services spearheaded by the WMO.