The world loses 45 million cubic metres of water every day - UNW-DPC looks for applying solutions

Aug 29, 2008

Reduction of the loss of drinking water is the overall topic of the UNW-DPC workshop taking place from 3-5 September. Reducing the loss of drinking water could provide nearly 90 million people with fresh water without increasing the demand on water resources. High level experts and decision makers from all over the world will discuss possible solutions at the UN Campus in Bonn.

The unaccounted loss of water needs immediate attention. It is responsible for lack of development and health for millions of people and adds stress to the scarce and valuable global water resource. Finding solutions to the problem plays a vital part in supporting the water related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Every day more than 45 million cubic metres of drinking water are lost in the world’s water systems, a quantity that could serve nearly 200 million people. One third of the water is lost in developing countries.

The loss of water is especially problematic in cities where more than half of the population lives. Urban dweller experience water loss because of leakage or unaccounted financial loss. Many cities have already responded and started programs to reduce the losses step by step.

Different institutions and water suppliers have developed and implemented strategies and technologies to control leakage and water loss. These strategies have proven highest efficiency and received worldwide recognition.

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) hosted by the United Nations University in Bonn has concentrated on the most promising and urgently needed approaches, highlighting especially the institutional capacity development. The focus lies on developing countries and countries with economies in transition, especially those under water stress.

This workshop entitled “Drinking Water Loss Reduction. Developing Capacity for Applying Solutions”, jointly organised by UNW-DPC and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), is a response to this urgent issue.

The workshop brings together policy makers from various cities confronted with the problem of drinking water loss and aims at the exchange of experiences made within the different national programmes. Representatives from Asia (China; Gwalior, India; Tehran, Iran; Lalitpur, Nepal), Latin America (Sao Paulo, Brazil; Managua, Nicaragua; Lima, Peru) Africa (Kampala, Uganda; Lusaka, Zambia) and the Middle East (Alexandria, Egypt, Madaba, Jordan; Ramallah, Palestinian Authority; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), will share their experiences with counterparts from water supply companies from Germany (Leipzig; Ruhrgebiet region) and some neighbouring countries (Sofia, Bulgaria; Budapest, Hungary). Prof. Dr F. Meyer- Krahmer, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, will be among the speakers on the opening day on 3 September.

The UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) hosted by UNU at UN Campus in Bonn, is a joint programme of UN Agencies and Programmes cooperating within the framework of UN-Water. The aim of the programme is to support and strengthen the activities of the more than two dozen UN organizations and programmes already cooperating within the interagency mechanism UN-Water, and thereby support their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to water. UNW-DPC is dedicated to capacity development in all water related issues including water supply and sanitation. The control of drinking water losses in distribution systems is part of its overall dedication. UNW-DPC is supported by the Federal Government of Germany.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

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