A much-discussed subject on the opening day of the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia on 19 March was the fate of thirsty cities. The example of Cape Town in South Africa was often mentioned as it is expected to run out of water within months. But also, Brasilia where the forum is taking place, was often mentioned as it can hardly keep up with the growing water demand. Brasilia started to ration its water supply last year.

The central message by the Word Water Council, the organiser of the World Water Forum, is that cities and countries have to double their expenditure on water infrastructure if they want to avoid too much water, too little water or too polluted water.

dws-wwf8-opening-session-fauchon-350pxAccording to president Loïc Fauchon of the World Water Council, there will be no human rights to water if we don't start sharing it.

Sharing water
‘The term of water related disasters is now commonly adopted’, said president Loïc Fauchon of the World Water Council at the plenary opening session. ‘Our behaviour, our mistakes and more selfishness are the main causes. Populations are now urging to have access to basic water services. And decision makers are blind for climate change disrupting the water availability year after year. They make political and financial decisions with the objective of more production but no sharing’, Fauchon said, referring to this year’s theme of the forum, Sharing Water.

New challenge: the environment
Fauchon called upon the global water community to make water available in quantities and qualities at anytime and for every community. ‘Providing water security means to establish a bias between water for today and water for tomorrow’, Fauchon told the gathered water professionals.

‘There is a new challenge’, Fauchin continued ‘Water is not only a human necessity. It is also a necessity for nature.’

Fauchon finished his contribution to the opening session by stating it is time to understand the costs of public water service.

dws-wwf8-opening-pavilion-ovink-peters-350pxSpecial Dutch water envoy Henk Ovink announced a leadership coalition with Mexico on valuing water.

Top priority within the UN
On the first day of the 8th World Water Forum the Netherlands Pavilion drew many visitors and as always the networking reception was well attended.

One of the speakers at the reception was special Dutch water envoy Henk Ovink. He addressed the final report by the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) that has been handed over to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 14 March 2018, at the UN Headquarters in New York.

According to Ovink, Guterres acknowledged the key role for water in achieving the sustainable development goals. The UN secretary promised to call upon all UN member states to make water their top priority.

At the World Water Forum, Ovink added that solving the water issues, is not a political process only. ‘It also involves businesses, financial instututes and communities that need to build coalitions.’

Ovink disclosed that the Netherlands, together with Mexico, will initiate the valuing water leadership that will put the principles of valuing water into practise.

dws-wwf8-opening-pavilion-reception-350pxBe prepared.. to embrace water
The central theme of the Netherlands Pavilion (E18) is 'Be prepared… to embrace water'. The Dutch water sector believes in an integrated approach on water management and is always looking for international collaboration and partnerships.

All participants of the World Water Forum are invited to come to the pavilion and to team up with the Dutch water sector!

To get insight of the Dutch contribution, see the special World Water Forum section on this website with all the participatants in the pavilion and Dutch experts contributing to the forum.

Stay tuned as news items on this website will keep you posted on these Dutch contributions.

Read also on this website
● World Water Forum 8: A look back on a Forum under pressure to achieve SDG6 by 2030, 29 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Huge potential for nature based solutions to reduce water risks, 28 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Revitalised IWRM-concept can boost action on SDG6 for water, 27 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: World Water Atlas gathers compelling stories on urgent water issues, 26 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Launch of Dutch Blue Deal programme in support of SDG6 on water, 23 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: Water Youth Network strengthens ties with research institute Deltares, 21 March 2018
● World Water Forum 8: A call on the world to fully value water, not just prizing, 21 March 2018
● Special page on Dutch participation at World Water Forum 8
World Water Forum 7: Buzzing Dutch delegation very active at World Water Forum in Korea, 21 April 2015
● World Water Forum 7: Time for long term action plans as rare weather events become regular, 20 April 2015

More information
World water Forum 8

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