From: Associated Press
Published August 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Scientists Call for Radical Action to Ease Water Scarcity

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Scientists on Monday called for radical action to improve global water management, saying one-third of the world's population faces water scarcity.

A new report released at the start of the World Water Week in Stockholm said more efficient use of the world's water resources was needed to reduce poverty and environmental damage.

The five-year study led by the Sri-Lanka based International Water Management Institute said a key priority was improving water management in agriculture in developing countries, particularly rain-fed farms on Africa's savannas.

Its recommendations including building more water storage, better irrigation systems and developing drought-resistant crops.

"The last 50 years of water management practices are no model for the future when it comes to dealing with water scarcity," said Frank Rijsberman, head of the IWMI.

"We need radical change in the institutions and organizations responsible for managing our earth's water supplies and a vastly different way of thinking about water management."

The report, drawing from the contributions of more than 700 scientists, was presented at the annual water week organized in the Swedish capital by the Stockholm International Water Institute. More than 1,500 experts from some 140 countries and U.N. agencies were attending.

On Thursday, Asit Biswas, a Canadian born in India, will receive the annual US$150,000 (euro124,000) Stockholm Water Prize for helping U.N. agencies, governments and others improve the delivery of water and sanitation services.

Source: Associated Press

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