Pioneering Water Solutions in Urbanising Areas
We face an impending future, where in the next 40 years approximately 800,000 new urban residents will be added every week to existing and new cities around the world. However, the majority of urban population growth will not occur in megacities, as many might think, but rather in smaller cities and towns. This presents a unique opportunity to rethink service delivery in these areas.
At the same time, poorly targeted technical programmes, under investment, lack of awareness of existing alternatives and insufficient innovation in conventional water and sanitation service delivery have resulted in a world where:
• 15% of people have no access to an improved water source (0.9 billion);
• 50% of people have no potable in-house tap water (3.0 billion);
• 70% of people have no sewerage (4.5 billion);
• 80% of people have no wastewater treatment (5.5 billion).
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The IWA Development Congress, to be held in November in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will provide IWA members and partners with a vehicle to challenge these current conditions, work collaboratively and develop real solutions for the future. Through these efforts, IWA aims to create a positive impact on poverty reduction, economic growth, human health and environmental sustainability in urban centres throughout the world.
The Congress builds on the success of the first Congress in Mexico City in November 2009 and provides a meeting place for those who are already, or soon will be, leading the development of on-the-ground solutions to urban water and sanitation services in the developing world.
Now, more than ever, we need to work together to confront these challenges with vigour and innovation. We will need game-changing thinking and action related to both urban water and sanitation technologies and service provision and their interactions with the complex social and institutional fabric that makes up the urban area and its sphere of influence. Business as usual is not a viable option in the light of the future we face.
We would like to extend an invitation to attend the Congress to all IWA members. Working alongside our colleagues in low and middle income countries, sharing experience and expertise both ways, will benefit the water and sanitation sector in the longer term and will make a tangible difference to water and sanitation service delivery worldwide.
Please visit the Congress website www.iwa2011kl.org for more details.