With water scarcity a growing concern in many parts of the globe exacerbated by population growth, unrelenting urbanisation, rising demand for irrigation in agriculture, sketchy water management, and climate change – which manifests in the intensity as well as frequency of droughts. At this point in time, an estimated 2 billion people are residing in water-stressed areas, and the number is expected to increase to half the global population by 2025, according to UN-Water.
Organised under the Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland’s leadership along with the support of the Water Convention secretariat, the international workshop was organise in cooperation with the International Network of Basin Organisations (INBO), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, among others.
The workshop aimed to expedite actions to address the issue of water scarcity and reduce related economic, environmental, health, as well as social risks by sharing practical solutions, with a focus on health impacts and transboundary water cooperation in particular. It reviewed measures to inhibit scarcity and alleviate its consequences at a national level, pinpoint best practices, and share knowledge for further activities.
The workshop acted as platform, bringing health professionals, water practitioners, representatives of the water sector, and authorities responsible for addressing the impacts brought upon by climate change at national and transboundary levels. The audience the workshop was targeting included academia, governmental representatives, international financial institutions, non-governmental as well as intergovernmental organisations, as well as the private sector and other experts.