MILAN - Water is a precious commodity which must always be protected. Each year, the World Water Week (W.W.W) is organized in Stockholm, serving as a benchmark for water issues around the globe. Organized by SIWI, (Stockholm International Water Institute), the 2015 edition took place from 23 to 28 August. Experts, professionals, innovators, and young professionals gathered to exchange and promote ideas, as well as to develop solutions to water-related challenges, such as the problem of water shortages. In fact, in 2015 nearly two billion people around the world still do not have access to water.
Understanding the problem
During this latest edition of the W.W.W., world leaders addressed issues related to water, presenting the main concerns associated with water resources and establishing new goals for sustainable development. Understanding the challenges faced every day by the most affected countries is a crucial first step. To measure the extent of the problem, help has been provided by the FAO by means of an indicator known as the "water dependency ratio", which examines the total amount of water available to each country imported within its borders from neighbouring countries.
What are the dependent countries?
The first five countries are occupied by regions dominated by deserts. These include arid countries of the Middle East, the Sahara, and Central Asia. In the case of Kuwait, 100% of its renewable water resources come from neighbouring countries. Sudan and Egypt are heavily dependent on the Nile River, which is shared with nine other countries located along the course of the river. Similarly, Bangladesh is dependent on the Brahmaputra and Ganges River, both originating in India. In Hungary, however, the high rates of evapotranspiration within the country (500-600 mm/year) often cause water to evaporate before it can be replaced by rain, thus forcing Hungary to rely on the Danube and other rivers.
by editorial staff