Participants at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. Image via World Water Week
World Water Week saw some significant progress on global water issues, covering topics from pollution and sanitation to food production to gender roles in water gathering. It also saw the launch of the Global Water Roundtable, a committee that will work to create universal standards for water use world wide. According to Edie, the roundtable will be facilitated by the World Wildlife Fund, and its first four years worth of funding is coming from a $1 million grant from JohnsonDiversey, a commercial cleaning company and interestingly, their "water management experts will also provide technical and operational input to establishing the new standards." What impact the company's participation will have on the standards is something to keep a sharp eye on.
"Water resources around the world are in a crisis and poor water management is a major factor," said Jason Clay, senior vice president for market transformation at WWF. "The Global Water Roundtable is a pragmatic, consensus-driven way to recognise water managers who are reducing their water footprint."
Whether or not this roundtable will have a significant impact on global water use is questionable, but the fact that it was formed and has a big goal in mind is to be applauded. Fresh water supplies are dwindling rapidly and mismanagement, especially in the agriculture sector, is a big part of the problem. Companies like IBM are also becoming increasingly interested in helping to better manage water supplies through technology. With both technology, and the experience of areas that are going through droughts and changes in water management, such as Australia, we can hope that solutions to the global water crisis can be uncovered.
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