News.Jan 03, 2015

WEF: Water now presents highest risk to world

“The picture painted by the Global Risk report should be a very sobering one. The water challenges confronting us are indeed tremendous”, says Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI.

According to the nearly 900 experts that took part in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Perception Survey, a future water crisis would have the most damaging consequences. The respondents also found that a water crisis is closely linked to several other risks; obviously to food, extreme weather events and failure of climate-change adaptation, but also to inter-state conflict, profound social instability and failure of urban planning.

That water is a key concern for future generations is made clear by the fact that among respondents aged below 30, a water crisis is by far the most worrying. Unfortunately, water crisis is among the risks where the least progress has been made over the past ten years.

But Torgny Holmgren says that while the survey offers some stark messages, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“The world is waking up, and here at SIWI we learn every day about new approaches and initiatives that aid the struggle for a world where water is managed wisely and responsibly. I hope that this clarion call is heard across the world, in cabinets, company board rooms and in the negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals”.