World Water Week Launches Water Scarcity Clock
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The Water Scarcity Clock is meant to give policy makers real-time information and provide visualizations of predicted water stress and scarcity globally, in 2030.

Its data is particularly relevant to SDG 6 targets on drinking water (target 6.1), sanitation (target 6.2), water quality (target 6.3) and water-use efficiency (target 6.4).

The IIASA warns that future water scarcity will also affect some industrialized countries.

26 August 2019: World Water Week, which convened on the theme of ‘Water for Society: Including All,’ launched a Water Scarcity Clock. The clock, a web-based tool, provides information relevant to SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation) targets along with visualizations of national-level data on countries’ levels of water stress, water scarcity and absolute water scarcity.

Developed by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the World Data Lab, and the German development agency GIZ, the Water Scarcity Clock is meant to give policy makers real-time information and provide visualizations of predicted water stress and scarcity globally, in 2030. Its data is particularly relevant to SDG 6 targets on drinking water (target 6.1), sanitation (target 6.2), water quality (target 6.3) and water-use efficiency (target 6.4).

IIASA notes that water stress, defined as less than 1,700 cubic meters of water per person a year, is already a serious issue in 22 countries, particularly in North Africa and Western, Central and South Asia, where more than 70% of the population currently experiences water stress. Absolute water scarcity is defined as levels of less than 1,000 cubic meters per person a year. The Institute warns that future water scarcity will also affect some industrialized countries: in Australia, for example, more than 26% of the population experienced water stress in 2016, and this proportion is anticipated to rise by 2030.

At World Water Week, Peter Eriksson, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, called for better water governance, and warned that water scarcity is likely to increase inequalities and affect food security.

Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), World Water Week is an annual platform for many different water agencies to showcase their work and draw attention to emerging issues. This year, high-level speakers drew attention to the importance of water for prosperity and poverty eradication, as well as for action on climate change. Participants also highlighted, inter alia, issues relevant to sound water management, including recognition of the rights of nature, data availability and transparency, and indigenous people’s rights and roles in ecosystem management.


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