Threats to Global Water Security
The UN designated the decade 2005–2015 as the International Decade for Action – Water for Life. The move was initiated at the third World Water Forum in Kyoto, 2003, and it could prove the most significant and effective outcome of the triennial series of World Water For a yet. Its major aims are: (1) to promote efforts to fulfil recent international commitments, especially in the Millennium Goals, (2) to advance towards a truly integrated, int- national approach to sustainable water management, and (3) to put special emphasis on the role of women in these efforts. Even so, it faces tremendous and, as I write, increasing obstacles. The intense season of hurricanes and tropical storms in 2008 illustrated yet again not only the power of nature, but also the vulnerability of the poorer nations, like Haiti and Jamaica. New Orleans and Texas fared better, not because of the efforts of the International Decade for Natural Disasters (1990–2000) to increase preparedness, but more because the USA had learnt from its own experiences in Hurricane Katrina. The biggest obstacle of all is the burgeoning world population. It took off last century, but it is predicted to reach unimaginable heights this century: at least 10 billion by 2050, maybe 20 billion by 2100. Governments are powerless to halt it, even the Chinese. Achieving water security globally against this backdrop will be a Herculean task.
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