Increasing water pollution and deteriorating water quality around the globe is the main focus at the 20th edition of the World Water Week in Stockholm, being attended by around 2,500 experts. “Driven by demographic change and economic growth, water is increasingly withdrawn, used, reused, treated, and disposed of,” organizers cautioned in their introduction to this year’s conference, which started on Sunday.
“Urbanization, agriculture, industry and climate change exert mounting pressure on both the quantity and quality of our water resources,” they added in a statement on the conference website.
The meeting, which ends on 11 September, has experts from around 130 countries discussing the theme: “The Water Quality Challenge—Prevention, Wise Use and Abatement.”
The picture is bleak, according to conference organizers Stockholm International Water Institute (Siwi).
“Water pollution is on the rise globally,” the institute said, pointing out that each and every day, approximately 2 million tonnes of human waste is poured into rivers, lakes and the sea.
In developing countries, 70% of industrial waste is dumped straight into waters without being treated, severely polluting usable water supply.
Global warming is exacerbating the problem, according to World Water Week director Jens Bergren.