Authorities from nearly 40 cities met last week during World Water Day to draft the declaration, known as the Istanbul Urban Water Consensus. The statement recognizes the likely damaging effects of climate change on urban water resources and calls on governments to properly fund adaptation plans. It encourages authorities to improve water availability through technological solutions, land-use reform, and greater collaboration with the business sector. The agreement also outlines specific targets, such as asking cities to set goals for preventing water loss and improving water treatment.
A heightened focus on the public sector’s role in water governance follows years of international financial institutions and governments supporting the opposite tactic: water privatization. But after escalating anti-privatization protests, including violent demonstrations at the last World Water Forum in Mexico in 2006, multinational corporations controlling water access is “no longer viewed as an acceptable approach,” said Nancy Alexander, former director of the Citizens’ Network on Essential Services, a populist advocacy organization.
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Source : Worldwatch Institute
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