President, International Water Association
The water sector faces a pivotal moment in a world that is increasingly water scarce and impacted by climate change.
Yet, the ever-increasing demands to allocate water to cities, industries, power suppliers, farmers, transport, and the environment, present an unprecedented challenge for the sector.
Fortunately, quite recently, the international community and their political leaders have understood that change is necessary in water management so that we can face the challenges. That is why Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is dedicated to addressing this challenge in low-, middle- and high-income countries.
Water is one of the critical risks we face in the next ten years; we must embrace disruptive technologies and science.
The SDGs also make clear the centrality of water to addressing many other global goals. It presents a unique opportunity to create the sustainable water management of the future. Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report stressed this, pinpointing water as one of the critical risks we face over a ten-year horizon.
Water risk is rightly considered of high likelihood and high impact almost everywhere in the world.
Delivering solutions for the complex water management problems we face today, and in the future, requires a focus on integrated water management. It must bridge the gaps between sectors and raise awareness at a political level.
Solving these problems also requires leading-edge scientific research and technological developments to be combined with the best water management practices. As a sector, we must embrace disruptive technologies and science, and adopt them at a much faster rate if we are to deliver the maximum benefit they can bring.