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World Water Forum Prepcom Highlights Impacts of Climate Change on Water Scarcity

Agriculture is by far the biggest water user

21 January 2009: The Third Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting of the Ministerial Process of the Fifth World Water Forum, hosted by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-organized by the World Water Council, is being held at UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 21-23 January 2008. The meeting has gathered delegates from over 60 countries to continue negotiations on a global plan of action for adapting to global changes that affect the management of freshwater resources.

Ger Bergkamp, Director-General of the World Water Council, which stages the triennial World Water Forum, stressed that with population rising, water supply is under increasing pressure, compounded by climate change. Noting that agriculture is the biggest water user, Alexander Müller, FAO Assistant Director-General, Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, stressed the need for new concepts and a strong political will to feed the world in a sustainable way while responding to the climate change challenge. Pasquale Steduto, Chief of FAO's Water Development and Management Unit and Chair of UN-Water, underlined that climate change scenarios suggest droughts will become more frequent and expressed the hope that the meeting would show world leaders that “sustainable water management is inextricably connected to food security.”

The World Water Forum in Istanbul will provide input into, inter alia, negotiations within the UNFCCC. [FAO Press Release] [World Water Forum Preparatory Meetings]