November 9, 2009 | Zaragoza, Spain
During the past decade, considerable global attention has been given on potential physical scarcities of water to meet various global needs in the coming years. Many have argued that by 2030, much of the world’s people will be living in regions having serious water stress. Research conducted at the Third World Centre for Water Management indicated that this scenario is incorrect. The world has adequate water, if this resource can be properly managed. If the world faces a water crisis in the future, this will most likely occur not because of physical scarcities of water, but due to continued neglect of water quality. According to the work carried out by the Centre, only about 10% of the point sources of pollution in Latin America are at present adequately treated and then disposed of in an environmentally safe way. The situation is likely to be similar in developing Asian countries, and probably somewhat worse in Africa. The non-point sources of pollution in the developing world are now basically neglected. Consequently, water bodies in developing countries in and around urban centres are heavily contaminated. Appearance of dead zones in estuaries of major rivers, even in developed countries, like the Mississippi in the United States, has already became a most serious issue because of non-point sources of pollution. Despite considerable rhetoric during the past decades, water quality management is still not receiving adequate attention. The Workshop considers different aspects of water quality management from different parts of the world, from different perspectives, including emerging issues like endocrine disruptors. It considers social, economic, environmental, legal and institutional aspects of water quality management, both of the present and the future. The governance aspects of water quality are receiving special attention. The Workshop is being sponsored by the International Centre for Water and Environment (CIAMA), Zaragoza, Spain, the Third World Centre for Water Management and the International Water Resources Association.