Published in Innovations – Technology, Governance, Globalization, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2009
Authors: Allerd Stikker MSc MA, founder and chairman of the advisory board for the Ecological Management Foundation and Dorota Juchniewicz MSc, consultant for Ecological Management Foundation
The global water situation, which has received increasing public attention during the last decade, is one of the most serious issues confronting the world today. However, despite numerous efforts to improve the situation, billions of people still lack access to clean drinking water and to sufficient water for basic sanitation. Moreover, around 10,000 people, about half of them young children, die every day from illnesses related to unclean water. To address this problem, the UN included among the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the objective of halving the number of people lacking adequate access to clean water by 2015. In 2000, 1.2 billion people lacked access to drinking water, while 2.4 billion lacked access to water for basic sanitation. The estimated figures for 2009 are 900 million and 2.5 billion, respectively, indicating that we are not on target to meet the MDGs. Furthermore, if we remove the relatively favourable performance of India and China, we are left with an even direr picture for Africa and the rest of Asia—this despite the fact that we are more than halfway to our goal year of 2015. To alleviate this alarming situation, the global development community clearly needs to invest in finding alternative and innovative solutions to improve the water supply for the countries with the most urgent need. The importance of such an investment becomes particularly apparent when we look at the rate of return: every five U.S. dollars invested in improving the water supply in rural areas in developing countries yields thirty to forty U.S. dollars by way of lower medical costs, income-generating activities for women, smaller losses in the production of goods, and more children attending school, especially girls. Some solutions will be presented in this paper, but we first examine some basic facts about the issue of water scarcity.
Read the full article from Op Zoek here in pdf.Water, Water Everywhere…