The 2013 Stockholm Statement
A call for a Sustainable Development Goal on Water
As an outcome of broad consultations in advance of and during the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm, the Stockholm International Water Institute calls upon the United Nations Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals to propose a Sustainable Development Goal on Water to the UN General Assembly.
By 2050, global water demand is projected to increase by 55%. Global demand for food is projected to increase by 60% and energy consumption to increase by 80%. Water scarcity is widely considered, especially within the private sector, as a top global risk. In order to meet the projected growth in water demand without undermining our planets carrying capacity, it is critical to make huge improvements in water productivity.
Which measures need to be taken to increase the value we produce per drop of water? How much more productive can and should we become?
Water is an essential resource for the production of virtually all goods and services on our planet. It is also a limited one. Consequently, the allocation of and investment in water for different uses is key for setting the future development trajectory. How we use and govern our waters will largely decide the future we get.
Which are the best steps towards wiser management of our water resources and which aspects of the current water governance structures should be addressed first?
Of all natural and anthropogenic adversities, water-related disasters are the worst and most recurrent, posing major obstacles to human security and sustainable development. The global direct losses due to water-related disasters have increased fivefold over the last decades. Sustainable development, especially for individuals with slim margins, to a large extent hinges on lowering the exposure to water risks. Ecological, social as well as technical measures for managing water variability are greatly needed in large parts of the world.
Which are the main drivers of water vulnerability and what are the best routes towards resilience?
With water, quantity and quality are intimately connected as its quality determines what it can be used for. For all uses we need the right amount of the right quality at the right time. Almost all of the pollutants we emit, from human waste to surfactants, end up in our water, putting a significant strain on health, economies and on ecosystems.
Which measures, on policy as well as on practical level, need to be taken to ensure that the same water that has served us for millennia also can be used in the future?
Sanitation and drinking water
Sustainable universal access in accordance with UN human rights resolutions must be the global aim for water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Experience shows that access must be measured by physical availability, actual use and behaviour. Better governance in this area is as important as additional financial resources.
What are the main challenges to sustainable universal access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and good hygiene? How and when can these challenges be overcome?