Earth is running dry, Istanbul water consensus aims to stop it

March 23, 2009
Eight million deaths a year are attributed to water and sanitation shortages and according to experts at the 5th World Water Forum taking place in Istanbul this week, our planet is going to run out of fresh water resources unless immediate action is taken. With the goal of "not wasting a drop," the Forum calls all nations to implement necessary measures to stop the inevitable worldwide water shortage...

• 5th World Water Forum draws record attendance, urges not wasting a drop

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Mar. 19, 2009 -- Eight million deaths a year are attributed to water and sanitation shortages and according to experts at the 5th World Water Forum taking place in Istanbul this week, our planet is going to run out of fresh water resources unless immediate action is taken. With the goal of "not wasting a drop," the Forum calls all nations to implement necessary measures to stop the inevitable worldwide water shortage. With this spirit, elected representatives from around the world signed the Istanbul Water Consensus (IWC) on Thursday, Mar. 19, 2009. The consensus was created to develop water management strategies in the face of global challenges.

Water is an element vital to human existence. Climate change, population growth, intensive urbanization, rapid economic development and other pressures impact water resources faster than current political and social systems can respond to them, the Istanbul consensus notes. "We build on previous commitments and express our readiness to take leadership in advancing integrated water management approaches to 'bridge divides for water' and strengthen the resilience of our cities and regions to cope with rising external pressures and contribute to our overall sustainable development," the consensus states.

The Istanbul Water Consensus named "Champion Cities" united in commitment for urban water resource management and these include Vienna, Austria; Paris and Lyon, France; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lausanne, Switzerland; Icheon, South Korea; and Istanbul, Turkey.

The consensus is intended to concretize the commitment of local authorities and to bring their issues to the attention of national governments, legislators and the international community. Having signed the Istanbul Water Consensus, Champion Cities aim to follow several rules which establish them as models to other world cities to execute solutions to world's water shortage.

"We cannot afford to waste another drop," said Prof. Dr. Oktay Tabasaran, Secretary General of the Forum. "We hope that the Istanbul Water Consensus will inspire other cities around the world to join this movement in taking initiatives to find powerful solutions to the challenges we are facing."

>> More information about the World Water Forum

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