The United Nations (UN) 2023 Water conference concludes today in New York City. The conference consisted of official sessions and
The United Nations (UN) 2023 Water conference concludes today in New York City.
The conference consisted of official sessions and side events with UN diplomats and representatives from regional organizations, where topics of discussion included increasing water security in conflict zones to mitigating climate change’s impact on water availability.
Last July, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Report projected that 1.6 billion people will lack access to safely managed drinking water by 2030. The report also found that water conservation progress needs to increase fourfold to ensure universal water access by the 2030 deadline. In response, other international organizations such as the World Economic Forum have urged governments to redouble their water conservation efforts and further integrate responsible water management into private and public policy.
The UN conference will likely increase the public’s attention to water conservation in the short term and increases the likelihood that stakeholders will try to implement improved water conservation policies such as improved data gathering and increased water infrastructure investment in the coming years. However, these policies may be insufficient to close the projected gap in time, due to both their sheer size and the need to address other political and economic issues. If this gap is not closed, water scarcity will likely become a more pressing issue in the coming decade as climate change exacerbates its negative effects.