Utility Week

UTILITY Week 11th September 2015

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28 | 11TH -17TH SEPTEMBER 2015 | UTILITY WEEK Community Charity T his August saw the 25th anniversary of World Water Week in Stockholm, the annual conference organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute that serves as a focal point for discussion and debate about the world's most critical water issues. International development organisation WaterAid, which was set up by the water industry in response to the world's water cri- sis, was one of the key collaborating partners at this year's conference. World Water Week's 2015 theme was "Water for Development". Experts, practi- tioners, decision-makers, business innova- tors and young professionals from a range of different sectors and countries all came together to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to the global water challenges of today. WaterAid participated in more than 18 events, sharing its knowledge and experi- ence with those in the sector, including: the role and opportunity for business; the bur- den of water collection on women; pioneer- ing water mapping and data sharing through mobile technology; and putting water, sani- tation and hygiene (WASH) at the core of healthcare. World Water Week came at a pivotal time, with the UN meeting later in September at a special summit to ratify new proposed sus- tainable development goals (SDGs). These goals will replace the millennium develop- ment goals and aim to end extreme poverty by 2030. Since 2012, WaterAid and other organisa- tions have called for a globally agreed SDG dedicated to water and sanitation. If rati- fied, this goal will call for universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. With sani- tation one of the most off-track of the exist- ing millennium development goals, we know prioritising WASH is critical to ending extreme poverty. The task is huge. More than 650 million people still live without access to clean water and 2.3 billion (that is one in three people in the world) live without access to a safe, pri- vate toilet. World Water Week Utility Week's official charity partner, WaterAid, reviews the key issues discussed at World Water Week in Stockholm, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in August. Photo: (c) WaterAid/Zute Lightfoot Photo: WaterAid/Panos/Adam Patterson Access to water and toilets transforms people's life chances, leading to better health, education and economic opportuni- ties. The key for success will be including water, sanitation and hygiene in other parts of development, including efforts on child health and nutrition, equal access to educa- tion, health care and disease prevention. Reaching everyone, everywhere with clean water and toilets will require crea- tive thinking and new approaches. We need a stronger understanding of who does not have access to water and sanitation services and whose access may be under future threat from climatic, economic, population or other changes if we are to reach everyone, every- where by 2030. If you would like to get involved in Wat- erAids' work, visit: www.wateraid.org/uk Top: Paulino Jiremba holds a cup of clean water at the pump in the village of Nerculo, Niassa, Mozambique Left: Janett helping to collect water from the rehabilitated borehole, Nyamigende village, Rwanda Bottom: A boy at the clean water pump in the village of Nerculo, Mozambique. Photo: WaterAid/Panos/Adam Patterson

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