Humanity is overconsuming water at ‘vampiric’ levels, UN head warns – National

The United Nations held its first water security conference in almost half a century on Wednesday, urging governments to better manage one of humanity’s shared resources.

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According to the United Nations, a quarter of the world’s population depends on unsafe drinking water and half lack basic sanitation. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters of recent disasters are water-related.

“We are depleting humanity’s lifeline through vampiric over-consumption and unsustainable use and evaporating it through global warming,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Ensuring access to clean drinking water and sanitation is part of the 17-point to-do list set by the United Nations for sustainable development, to end hunger and poverty, achieve gender equality, It also includes measures to combat climate change.

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The three-day conference, which begins Wednesday in New York, is not intended to produce binding agreements like the 2015 climate conference in Paris or the 2022 Montreal climate conference. The Water Action Agenda brings a worthy commitment to the lifeblood of our world. “

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This agenda aims to establish voluntary commitments by country and sector representatives and create ‘political momentum’.

Guterres said the government needs a plan to “ensure equitable access to water for all while protecting this precious resource” and to work with neighboring countries to manage it. .

The United States responded swiftly to Guterres’ call.

“I am proud to announce that the United States is committing $49 billion to investing in equitable, climate-resilient water and sanitation at home and around the world,” said Linda Thomas Greenfield, Ambassador to the United Nations. Stated.

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The money, she said, “helps create jobs, prevent conflict, protect public health, reduce the risk of famine and hunger, and make us more resilient to climate change and natural disasters.” No timeline or method details were provided. Where will most of the money be spent?

The World Commission on Water Economics, a group of scientists, economists and policy experts grouped by the Dutch government, has phased out nearly $700 billion in agricultural and water subsidies, citing them as damaging to the environment. It is recommended that it be deprecated.

We also support partnerships with development finance institutions and private investors to improve water systems.

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and statement In honor of World Water Day on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is working to ensure clean water for people and homes around the world.

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In a statement, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “Everyone in Canada should have access to clean water.” We continue to work to prevent further recommendations from moving forward by jointly developing and implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

The impact of well-managed aquatic ecosystems extends beyond access to clean drinking water, Trudeau said.

“There is no resource more vital to the Canadian people and Canadian economy than clean water.”

— Edited by Mark Potter and Bill Berkrot. Using files from Global News.

© 2023 Thomson Reuters

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