There is no life without water – this is an unquestionable truth for everybody, but has anyone ever thought of the fact that without water there is no development, either? Talking either about the basic fact that water is essential for the development of plants, or the ingenious inventions of later ages, we have to admit that water significantly determines our lives.
One has only to take a look at world history to see that from ancient Mesopotamia to Egypt and China, every great culture, civilisation had evolved and survived at places where the proximity of waters and rivers ensured life and development. Rivers and seas were used for travelling and trade, cutting distances and exploring new worlds, which most of the time resulted in a leap forward.
But one should not forget that at the same time water is one of the greatest challenges of our lives, posing problems like droughts, floods, their unpredictable variations, river-control, climate change, melting glaciers and the examples could go on. It is truly difficult to believe that ten thousand children under the age of 5 die daily of illnesses due to polluted waters. Currently, nearly two billion people live on earth without access to healthy water, and in 25 years’ time half of humanity will live in a place where water supply will be a serious problem.
Although these data are facts, it seems we do not want to understand what they mean; twelve thousand different chemicals are used in industry, and we use as much water just for watering golf courses every day as would be enough to ensure the daily minimum water requirement for 4.7 billion people, as calculated by the UN.
The problems are thus given, and it is evident that new solutions must be found to solve them, solutions which fully comply with current environmental requirements. These must be given top priority if we want our grandchildren to be able to look at water as a source of development.
Water is a renewable energy source and it is one of the corner-stone of sustainable growth without which there is no development. At the same time, our fresh water reserves are finite and potentially leading to wars, its pollution could cause epidemics, while water shortages might result in famines. We must realize that the key to our further development is the preservation of our water supply. It is only up to us whether we can preserve it.
The water crisis – that is the theme of the year’s most important event in Hungarian diplomacy, the Budapest Water Summit to be held on 15-17 October. Water shortages and the severe pollution of water resources are hazards that many hundreds of millions of people face – preventing the catastrophe is everyone’s shared task and responsibility.
The Sustainable Development Goals – adopted in the Summit of Prime Ministers and Heads of State between 25 and 27 September 2015 – are based on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
It is a necessity to pay more attention to the ever increasing pollution of the waters. Conventional waste water treatments are not suitable to remove all the incoming pollutants in the treatment plants. That is the reason why Nyírségvíz Zrt. has started a development program.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have produced a water management manual based on the principles of green infrastructure. The purpose of the publication is to popularise the solutions, and to present efficient and sustainable projects already in operation that use green or hybrid (traditional – gray and natural – green) infrastructural solutions in the field of water management.
The purpose of the document entitled Groundwater Governance – A Global Framework for Action is to make the importance of sustainable groundwater governance clear to political decision-makers.
At the global level, three of every four jobs are related to water in some way. The 2016 World Water Development Report examines the links between water and jobs, employment and economic development. The key findings of the report are summarised below.