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Global “Crises”
Water and the Global Energy Crisis
Historical and projected energy demand and oil prices show steadily rising
demand and rapidly rising prices (Figure 1.8)
Water and the Global Food Crisis
Wheat and rice prices have risen sharply in recent years (Figure 1.9)
Water and Climate Change
GDP growth tracks rainfall variability in Ethiopia (1983-2000) and Tanzania (1989-99)
(Figure 5.2)
Water and the Financial Crisis
“Budgetary spending on infrastructure is often cut during
periods of financial tightening, although for governments that
can afford it, investing in infrastructure can help counter an
economic slowdown. “
WWDR3 p.17
Water Shortages: A Driver of
“Ten years ago – even five years ago – few people paid much
attention to the arid regions of western Sudan. Not many
noticed when fighting broke out between farmers and herders,
after the rains failed and water became scarce.”
“We can change the names in this sad story. Somalia. Chad.
Israel. The occupied Palestinian territories. Nigeria. Sri Lanka.
Haiti. Colombia. Kazakhstan. All are places where shortages of
water contribute to poverty.”
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, 2008
Increasing Demands =
Increasing Competition
“Competition for water exists at all levels and is
forecast to increase with demands for water in
almost all countries. In 2030, 47% of world
population will be living in areas of high water
WWDR3, Chapter 9
Water to sustain fragile
Water stress levels of major river basins (Map 6.3)
Pressures on the resource: Fundamental needs
and rising living standards
Pressures on the resource: Fundamental needs
and rising living standards
Average national water footprint per capita, 1997-2001 (Map 7.3)
Pressures on the resource: External
• Demographic
• Economic
Globalization, rising cost of food and energy, trade and “virtual water”
• Social
Lifestyles and consumption patterns, poverty, education, culture and
• Technological Innovation and dissemination
Environmental R&D, renewable energy, information and communications
technology, biotechnology and GMO’s, bioenergy, nanotechnology
• Policies laws and finance
Finance: The missing link
• Climate change
Mitigation deals
with carbon,
adaptation with
Climate change: processes, characteristics
and threats (Figure 5.1)
Climate impacts are greatest in
poor countries
The costs of disasters as a share of GDP are much higher in poor
countries than rich countries (Figure 1.2)
Lack of information and data
at a time when we need it more than ever to
deal with increasing complexity
Distribution of Global Runoff Data Centre streamflow gauges (Figure 13.1)
The world is on track to meet the MDG target for drinking water;
sub-Saharan Africa is not.
The world is not on track to reach MDG sanitation target
in water
Water investment requires a holistic approach – links between pricing, financing
and stakeholders (Figure 1.4)
Water for Sustainable
Sustainable development as the
framework for water management
US government investments in water infrastructure during 1930-96
yielded $6 in damages averted for each $1 invested (Figure 1.3)
Opening the
“water box”
Decision-making affecting
water (Figure 1.1)
Inside the “water box”
• Water governance reform: strengthening policy, planning
and institutions
• Consulting with stakeholders and avoiding corruption:
accountability in planning, implementation and
• Capacity development for more effective action
• Developing appropriate solutions through innovation and
• Data and information needs
• Financing
Example from inside the water box: Uganda
Addressing water supply and sanitation
challenges in Uganda (Box 14.23)
Outside the “water box”
• Promoting win-win scenarios by creating space for change
• Clearing pathways towards win-win situations: avoiding
negative impacts
• Promoting win-win scenarios through cooperation and
• Sustaining change: changing habits through awareness
• Ensuring sustainable financing
Turkey’s South-eastern Anatolia
Project (GAP)
• Boost national hydroelectrical output by 70%
• Increase irrigated land by over 25%
• Generate 27,470 gigawatt hours of electricity
Total cost: $32 billion (of which $17 billion has
been invested.
Integrating multiple sectors in Southeast Anatolia, Turkey (Box 15.23)
Zambia: Linking water to
“Recognizing the importance of water for
development, the government integrated the water
sector reforms, including the new integrated water
resources management plan, and the National
Development Plan. Linking these was seen as
fundamental to poverty reduction and achieving all
the Millennium Development Goals.”
Zambia’s experiences linking integrated water resources management with
national development plans (Box 15.25)
“The challenges are great, but the unsustainable
management and inequitable access to water
resources cannot continue – because the risks of
inaction are even greater.
Leaders inside and outside the water domain
have critical, complementary roles.”
Water is essential to sustainable development.
Leaders in government, the private sector and civil
society must learn to recognize water’s role in
obtaining their objectives.
"Aggressive government spending worldwide on
infrastructure and other public projects is likely to
be more effective than broad tax cuts in supporting
global economic growth."
Justin Lin, Chief Economist, World Bank.
Business Times, Singapore. November 13, 2008.
The donor community
can incorporate
water into the broader
frameworks of
development aid and
focus assistance on
areas where it is needed
The chief executives of the UN agencies, following
the example of their joint discussions of and
collective responses to climate change, can convene
to examine the role of water, water systems and
water management in development and
environmental services, providing direction to
agencies and advice to member countries.
Inaction is not an option
It can be done. Others have done it.
Leaders in the water domain and decisionmakers outside it must act together now.