International Water Summit: "Preventing Water Crises"

16 Oct 2019 by Staff - Water Diplomat

Several hundred politicians, bankers, businessmen, investors and scientists gathered in Budapest, Hungary, this week to discuss challenges of emerging water crises – issues concerning abundant, scarce and polluted waters – and their social, economic, environmental and political consequences.

The 2019 Budapest Water Summit, the city’s third, convened 15-17 October under the auspices of Hungary’s President Janos Adler, with the theme “Preventing Water Crises”, took place halfway between the 2018 Brasilia and the 2021 Dakar World Water Fora and aimed to build on and contribute further to work conducted by the United Nations, the European Union, the World Water Council, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank Group and other organizations.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Summit, Adler said that “the drama of scarce water, too much water and polluted water is unfolding before our eyes", adding that this was “the drama of humanity and the logical consequence of our irresponsibility".

Adler said the main question was how to prevent a water crisis where this was still possible and how to adapt in places where there were already crises.

Although Hungarian water supplies are 11 times over the water scarcity limit, ten percent of the country is vulnerable to desertification, he warned.

Water preservation, the utilisation of precipitation and waste water, and irrigation development will “consume a lot of taxpayer money”, he said.

Hungary will also have to upgrade its dam and levee system which, in their current form, are not equipped to deal with the extreme floods expected in the region, he said.