UN Water Conference Starts with Warning
Co-chairs of the UN Water Conference, President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan and King Willem of Netherlands, at the opening ceremony.

“We are draining humanity’s lifeblood through vampiric overconsumption and unsustainable use and evaporating it through global heating,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the start of the UN 2023 Water Conference. which also coincided with World Water Day.

At the conference, national governments and stakeholders from all levels of society will collaborate to make voluntary commitments to accelerating progress on Social Development Goal Six, to promote access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

These voluntary commitments will form the Water Action Agenda, designed to deliver rapid, transformative change in the remainder of this decade.

“We’ve broken the water cycle, destroyed ecosystems and contaminated groundwater,” Gutteres added.

“Nearly three out of four natural disasters are linked to water. One in four people lives without safely managed water services or clean drinking water. And over 1.7 billion people lack basic sanitation. Half a billion practice open ablutions. And millions of women and girls spend hours every day fetching water.”

In addition, 1.4 million people die annually and 74 million will have their lives shortened by diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Global water demand is projected to increase by 55% by 2050. 


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