Water Journal : Water Journal May 2014
6My Point of View WATER MAY 2014 MAKING GLOBAL WATER SECURITY A REALITY Benedito Braga -- President, World Water Council Benedito Braga is President of the World Water Council and a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Escola Politecnica of University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He holds a PhD in Water Resources from Stanford University, US. Mr Braga chaired the International Steering Committee of the 6th World Water Forum held in Marseille, France in 2012. He served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Sanitation of the State of Sao Paulo and was a member of the Gulbenkian Think Tank for the future of water and mankind based in Lisbon, Portugal from 2010 to 2012. From 2001 to 2009, he served on the Board of Directors of the Brazilian National Water Agency -- ANA. During that tenure, he became a member of UNESCO/International Hydrological Program committee and was elected President of its Intergovernmental Council. He was the President of the International Water Resources Association from 1998 to 2000. Mr Braga is the recipient of the 2011 Honorary Diplomate from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the 2002 Crystal Drop Award for his lifetime achievements in water resources management. He is the author of 25 books and more than 200 scienti c articles published in journals and proceedings of symposia and congresses worldwide. If you ask any person on this planet, including high-level government of cials and politicians, to rate the importance of water in our daily life, the answer will be unanimous: extremely important. However, recent data from the University of North Carolina in the US indicate that 1.8 billion people on this earth do not have access to a reliable source of drinking water, while 2.5 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. The impact of this on public health is severe, with three million children dying every year as a result of waterborne diseases. These numbers have been repeated so many times, in so many conferences and published articles, that many people read them and don't pay much attention anymore. They have been somehow internalised as if they are something we have to live with and accept. However, we must persevere in nding solutions. THE EVER-WIDENING GAP BETWEEN THE WORLD'S RICH AND POOR Australia and Ethiopia show the same climatic variability; however, Australia has a water storage capacity of nearly 5,000m3/inhab whereas Ethiopia has a storage capacity of only 45m3/inhab. Similarly, the United States and Nepal show the same hydropower potential; however, the installed hydropower capacity in the US is two orders of magnitude greater than in Nepal. Estimates by the Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations show that 842 million people, or one in eight people, suffer from chronic hunger -- and this situation is even more critical in sub-Saharan Africa. Regardless of all the economic growth in the world, we still have: 1.3 billion people who do not have access to electricity; three billion people who live on less than USD2 per day and 1.3 billion people who live on less than USD1 per day. Today we are seven billion and the poorest are the most vulnerable.
Water Journal April 2014
Water Journal June 2014