On 10 October 2016 in Brisbane, Australia, 200 leaders from the public and private sector, including government ministers, business and civil society leaders, and leading scientists will take part in a historic summit on water scarcity and drought.
Driven both by climate change and poor water management, droughts are becoming more frequent and water scarcity is growing in severity in all regions of the world. The World Economic Forum ranks water security as the top global risk facing societies, economies and businesses over the next decade
“The effects of water scarcity and drought will only intensify if we do not act,” says Dr. Ger Bergkamp, Executive Director, the International Water Association (IWA).
“The Summit will launch the world’s first public-private action-agenda solely dedicated to water scarcity and drought: DroughtAction. It will enable participating countries, organisations and water-dependent companies to discuss and agree what needs to be done in order to meet key elements of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
“As a country where managing drought and water scarcity has always been an absolute necessity, Australia – the host country for the Drought & Scarcity Summit – has had to put into practice the idea that water is a scarce economic good, to be allocated and used efficiently and wisely, for the benefit of all people,” says Gary Jones, Chief Executive, of Australian Water Partnership, co-organisers with IWA of the Summit.
Water scarcity and drought affects four billion people, and impairs cities, industries and the environment. In all these areas building resilience to drought and scarcity requires global leadership from a range of stakeholders. DroughtAction will initially comprise the leadership from 20 companies, governments in 12 countries, organizations, civil society and academia.
The summit will be a part of the World Water Congress and Exhibition, 9-14 October 2016 in Brisbane. Hosting keynotes, roundtables and plenary discussions, it will debate effective policy and institutions, best approaches, effective technologies to reduce water demand and losses, reuse of water, desalination, replenishment and refilling reservoirs.
“There are many strengthening mechanisms that need to be put into place to ensure lasting change. These mechanisms include: sharing information and knowledge, spreading best practices and mobilising public and private investments. All together these initiatives will generate the momentum necessary to address water scarcity and drought,” said Bergkamp.