STOCKHOLM 29 AUGUST 2022
How can we make the unseen water visible? Why is it important and how can it help us in our strive for a more water-wise and sustainable future. These questions are at the core of World Water Week 2022 which opened on-site at Norra Latin in Stockholm today.
During the on-site opening ceremony, several speakers stressed that the urgency of tackling the global water crisis has never been more evident. Extreme weather events highlight the intimate connection between water and climate change, and the poor state of much of the world’s water resources adds to the bleak picture.
Speaking about the theme for this year’s World Water Week, Seeing the unseen – the value of water, Dr Lan Wang-Erlandsson of Stockholm Resilience Centre said:
“This year’s theme of World Water Week hits the nail right on the head. We must see and value the unseen water: the life-supporting water hidden beneath our feet, the invisible vapor flows in the air, as well as the water in remote places that holds on to carbon stocks much larger than all fossil carbon stocks together. And we must not ignore the myriad of unseen links and dynamics between water, human, and nature. Hyperconnections in the Anthropocene mean that food is water, health is water, energy is water, climate is water, life is water, and water is life. This year’s conference theme is so timely and important.”
For more than 30 years, World Water Week has been the leading conference for exploring the opportunities and solutions that a greater focus on water brings. The event attracts leading researchers, decision-makers, business representatives, NGOs, students, and international organizations from all over the world. More than 2,000 people are expected to join the onsite part of the conference in Stockholm while the extensive online integration means that all sessions will also be available to participate in online.
The invisible water in focus at World Water Week 2022 comes in many forms, e.g., groundwater, soil moisture and atmospheric water. Being invisible to the naked eye, these occurrences of water are often forgotten, even by experts in the water community, but in the face of the global water crisis they play a crucial role. Restoring and protecting soil moisture help combat drought and increase food production, and groundwater is the main source of fresh water for more than half of the world’s population.
In her final remarks during the on-site opening ceremony, Gabriela Suhoschi, director of World Water Week, said:
“I think we all feel that we want to roll up our sleeves and get working on the solutions we’ve been hearing about. The rest of the Week is a fantastic opportunity to do just that, and to collaborate with others.”