Water management

A report from the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) / Adena which was made public during the World Water Week says that water scarcity will be a worldwide problem which even rich countries will suffer due to poor management of water resources. In addition, among the developed countries, Spain is the one with the poorest water management.


According to the head of the WWF Water Program, Guido Schmidt, Spain is the developed country that represents the most "extreme" case of "erroneous" political management of water. According to the organization that wrote the report, other countries such as Australia, USA, Japan and the UK also have an inadequate management of water. This report has a global reach and was written considering the upcoming World Water Week, an annual forum aimed at the international community for the management of water resources, to be held in Stockholm between 20 and 26 August 2012.


According to the head of the WWF Water Program, Guido Schmidt, Spain is the developed country that represents the most "extreme" case of "erroneous" political management of water. According to the organization that wrote the report, other countries such as Australia, USA, Japan and the UK also have an inadequate management of water. This report has a global reach and was written considering the upcoming World Water Week, an annual forum aimed at the international community for the management of water resources, to be held in Stockholm between 20 and 26 August 2012.


According to the head of the WWF Water Program, Guido Schmidt, Spain is the developed country that represents the most "extreme" case of "erroneous" political management of water. According to the organization that wrote the report, other countries such as Australia, USA, Japan and the UK also have an inadequate management of water. This report has a global reach and was written considering the upcoming World Water Week, an annual forum aimed at the international community for the management of water resources, to be held in Stockholm between 20 and 26 August 2012.


In the WWF report, there are three pages dedicated to the Spanish case, which is considered to be the "worst example" to follow amongst those of developed countries when it comes to its policy for increasing water supply. As examples of some of these bad policies, Schmidt talks about their plans to divert river flows, such as the one planned by the previous government to reroute the Ebro to the Mediterranean basins, due to the environmental damage that these initiatives lead to.


But the report doesn't only focus on Spain. Under the title of Rich Countries, Poor Water we are shown the picture on an international level, and we are warned that the water crisis will not be a problem exclusive to poor countries. The author notes that climate change is leading to recurrent droughts in Europe, especially in the south. Other issues that are added to these shortage problems, such as poor resource management and loss of wetlands, have turned the water crisis into something global that does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. More specifically, he points to problems such as loss of water due to supply network breakdowns, or excessive aging of facilities, inadequate irrigation and the great amount of tourism in the Mediterranean coasts, or the melting of glaciers due to global warming. He cites the examples of cities like Houston or Sydney, that spend water faster than they can recover it, or London, whose old pipes lose the equivalent of 300 Olympic swimming pools a day.


He also warns that developed countries are overusing water resources in poor countries. It is in these countries that part of the fruit, vegetables or clothes that the more fortunate countries consume, are produced. Of course, all that production involves the use of water.


Leading by example:


For Schmidt, "the water crisis in rich countries shows that economic resources and infrastructure do not secure against scarcity, pollution, climate change or drought." In his opinion, "it is clear that there is no substitute for protecting rivers and wetlands," and that the worsening water crisis in both poor and rich countries, is an alarming call for us to return to the conservation of nature as a water source.


Therefore, the organization calls on rich countries to give an example of good management, modernizing their distribution systems to prevent loss, or implementing policies that will help end pollution and climate change as well as promoting international cooperation to preserve water, the one element that no living being can live without.


Water restrictions in one third of the Earth


A third of the planet is facing water shortages due to the poor management of resources and an extremely high use of water, especially in agriculture, according to the International Water Management Institute(IWMI), a non-profit scientific organization that focuses on the sustainable use of water and other natural resources.


Water scarcity around the world has increased faster than expected, explained Frank Rijsberman, director of the Institute, during a press conference in Canberra, Australia.


80% of the global amount of water that is consumed is used in agriculture, according to the agency, which has warned that if water management is not improved, "the consequences will be a higher water shortage around the world and a rapid increase in water prices".



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