Water Efficiency Must be the Guiding Star in Fight to Eradicate Hunger and Poverty

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The 2014 World Water Week, focusing on energy and water, closed today with participants jointly emphasising the importance of a water goal, as well as intimate integration of energy and water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Week also concluded that water efficiency is one of the main tools in combatting poverty and hunger.

A few obstacles overshadow all others in the fight to end poverty. One is the silo mentality. Sectors must break barriers between them and use synergies to their full potential. This message was underlined by Stockholm Statement on Water, released during the Week by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the organizer of the conference. Another is the gross inefficiencies in water use.

"To counter the challenge of booming water demand we must manage it in a far smarter way. In five years I want us all to be as aware of water efficiency as we are of energy efficiency today," Mr. Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI, told the closing session.

World Water Week started with a call from some of the world's leading water, environment and resilience scientists and experts, who said that without improved rainwater management, the future development goals currently being discussed are unrealistic.

During the Week, which broke all earlier attendance records with over 3,000 participants from more than 140 countries, water efficiency was highlighted in several sessions. Mr. Neil Macleod of eThekwini Water and Sanitation spoke of the necessity to invent a toilet that does not need water. "The flushing toilet belongs in the history books," said Mr Macleod, stating that a non-flush toilet would cut a household's water use by 30 per cent.

The need for holistically approaching energy and water issues was reiterated by the IEA's Ms. van der Hoeven, who said that: "The water-energy nexus if firmly on our agenda. And so is development. We know that 1.2 billion people in the world lack electricity, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. We therefore applaud next year's World Water Week theme, water and development."

Ms. Amina Mohammed, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, concluded that: "Next year is a momentous year. We need leadership that is courageous. I hope we can use the energy from this Week as a baton for the work we have ahead of us."

Press information: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/pressroom

SOURCE Stockholm International Water Institute

For further information: Britt-Louise Andersson, Communications Director, SIWI, +46-8-121-360-30, britt-louise.andersson@siwi.org