A new WWF study says water shortages in megacities can be tackled by: protecting important freshwater ecosystems, managing and using water supplies better, and planning for the impacts of climate change.
Presented in Stockholm during the World Water Week, the new WWF report ‘Big Cities, Big Water, Big Challenges’ warns of severe water shortages worldwide by the middle of this century, when 70% of the world’s people will be living in urban areas – often in ‘megacities’. In many of the world’s biggest cities, water management is already poor, WWF says.
The report looks in detail at the water situation in five megacities: Mexico City, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Nairobi, Kenya; Karachi, Pakistan; Kolkata, India; and Shanghai, China.
It also also highlights the importance of calculating water footprints.
Solutions for sustainable urban water management, says WWF, need go beyond physical engineering and manipulation of water flows. It must include things like: raising awareness about reducing water consumption, law enforcement and controls, reuse and recycling of stormwater and wastewater, corporate water stewardship, economic incentives, payment for environmental services, and climate change adaptation.
Source: WWF, 24 Aug 2011