CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Mar. 22, 2011 -- With the official death count now exceeding 9000 in Japan following the devastating earthquake, water experts have stressed the need for emergency readiness as urbanisation levels increase across the world.
Speaking during a session on water disasters as part of the World Water Day 2011 events, Ben Braga, vice president at the World Water Council, reportedly said: "The data that we have shows that these kind of events are likely to happen and we have to be prepared for them."
Braga told news agency AFP: "If now in fact we are having more severe floods and droughts in the future due to climate variability it becomes even more important that this water management takes place immediately."
Earlier this year deadly floods hit Australia, with thousands evacuating the city of Brisbane with the flooding on course to affect 20,000 homes (see Water & Wastewater International (WWi) story).
Earlier this week, WWi reported that Japan's ministries confirmed nuclear levels were safe in drinking water supplies (see WWi story).
For more information on this year's World Water Day visit the official website: www.unwater.org/worldwaterday