The 2009 World Water Week Conference: Preserve Our Precious Water Resources  
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HOST: Hallo, eco-conscious friends, and welcome to Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Water is indispensable for the survival of humans and all other beings on Earth. And although three-quarters of the planet’s surface is covered in water, 97% of it is saltwater. Thus freshwater comprises just 3% of the supply and only 1% of that is directly available to meet human needs.

In recent decades, due to over-exploitation, prolonged droughts caused by climate change and environmental degradation such as water pollution by factory farms, an increasing number of Earth’s residents are experiencing severe water shortages.

Prof. Allan (m): There are only 10 countries in the world out of the 200 (that) have got a significant water surplus. It’s the water from them that keeps the rest of us going.

Prof. Lundqvist(m): We (will) have an increase in population by three billion or so  from the year 2000 to the year 2050.

HOST: From August 16 to 22, 2009, experts, key decision makers, leaders and practitioners from around the world gathered for the World Water Week conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

The event was organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, a non-profit policy think tank, to discuss our planet’s most urgent water-related issues. One product of the conference was the consensus document, 『The Stockholm Statement,』  which urges governments to address water issues at the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Harlin (m): What I can say is clearly this, that the stress on water resources is increasing tremendously and the stress is increasing, especially in developing countries.

HOST: On today’s program we’ll hear some of the conference’s distinguished attendees express their views on the global water crisis. Jan Lundqvist, Senior Scientific Advisor to the Stockholm International Water Institute, studies how societies choose to use planetary resources, and is an expert on the links
between water use and food production.