...at the 2nd World Water Forum, The Hague, March 17-22, 2000
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Action Day, 21 March, 2000 -  Online
1045-1230: Tackling Urgent Water Priorities
Five urgent water problems should be given priority:
  • Protecting and restoring water resources
  • Achieving water-food security
  • Extending sanitation coverage
  • Meeting the challenge of rapid urbanisation
  • Managing floods
Tackling urgent water priorities

Bill Cosgrove introduced the session putting it in the context of the transition from the "vision process" to the "action process". He reminded the floor of the main objectives of the Vision process - information, awareness, building a shared vision, paving the way for an "Action" phase… He expressed hopes that the discussion on actions will keep the "visionary spirit" of moving towards a better world; present poverty cannot be tolerated - the suffering voices have to be heard.

While recognising that necessary actions are numerous, the FFA document highlights five key areas of concerns: protecting and restoring water resources, achieving food security, improving sanitation coverage, meeting the urbanisation challenge and improving flood management. Five working groups were formed among the participants to discuss these five key areas. Reports of the groups gave very clear compass directions: foster integration between sectors! Put the action process much closer to local levels! …Actions were proposed to cope with food / nature trade off's, pollution control, valuation of ecosystems, reform of irrigation institutions, urban environmental sanitation revolution (!), integrated urban planning, management of flood prone areas… a lively debate which should lead to concrete initiatives (more to come).


All sessions of the day: