The Secretary of the Iran Urban Economics Scientific Association (IUESA), Seyyed Mohsen Tabatabaei, made the remarks, noting that that global demand for water follows the extreme growth in urbanization.
He underlined that water and its resources remain core issues related to sustainable development, and that access to proper drinking water is one of the most important goals of the third millennium; “Food security, health and the environment are all affected by water.”
Saying that water leads to the improvement of social welfare and overall growth and the livelihoods of billions of people worldwide, he added, “Water is the source of many development vertices, but we can see worrying trends globally, to the extent that some experts claim that conflicts, tensions and civil, regional and international wars will be over water access in the not-too-distant future. Therefore, this issue requires more precise attention.”
Tabatabaei highlighted that the global demand for water is largely following urbanization growth, macro-economic policies, globalization of trade, and changes in the diet of the world population, adding, “Studies indicate that global demand for water will increase 55% by 2050.”
Warning about an increasing growth in the need for water, the urban expert said, “Currently, the status of water resources is worrying, since groundwater levels have fallen by 20% and many parts of the world are faced with a lack of water. In the meantime, some experts have forecast that about two-thirds of the world’s population will suffer from severe or relative water scarcity by 2025.”
“Statistics indicate a shocking reality; 80% of the world’s population has access to only 20% of the world’s safe drinking water. In order to have favourable coverage of water and sanitation in the world, just in developing countries, investment worth $ 103bn is needed in the water and sanitation sector annually,” Tabatabaei stressed.
Emphasizing that city management should make specific decisions to reduce water consumption, Tabatabaei deemed it necessary to have a scientific and comprehensive view regarding water consumption management, so that available resources can meet the needs of urban residents in the future.