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World Water Week Sends Message to Rio+20

29 August 2011: A key outcome of World Water Week, which convened in Stockholm, Sweden, from 21-27 August 2011, was the Stockholm Statement to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The Stockholm Statement notes that, by 2030, humanity's demand for water could outstrip supply by as much as 40 percent, putting energy and food security at risk. The Statement notes that Rio+20 provides an opportunity for global leadership, and underscores that the foundation for a green economy must be built upon water, energy and food security.

The Statement stresses the need for action at all levels to address inequities, especially for the "bottom billion" living in slums and impoverished rural areas without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food or energy services, and calls for the “universal provisioning of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services by the year 2030.”

The Statement also calls on the UNCSD to commit to achieve, by 2020: a 20 percent increase in total food supply-chain efficiency, reducing losses and waste "from field to fork;" a 20 percent increase in water efficiency in agriculture, resulting in more nutrition and crop per drop; a 20 percent increase in water use efficiency in energy production; a 20 percent increase in the quantity of water reused; and a 20 percent decrease in water pollution.

On the UNCSD's two themes, the Statement recommends, inter alia: on green economy, that current measurements of economic performance are expanded and complemented by indicators on environmental and social sustainability, and that economic and social incentives are created to promote water use efficiency; and on creating an institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD), that policy reforms create an enabling environment for the coherent and integrated management of water, energy and food, and that national legislation be enacted guaranteeing access to water and sanitation for all. [Stockholm Statement to Rio+20] [Website of World Water Week]