Nations pledge to join up action on water and adaptation
The Egyptian COP27 Presidency has selected gender and water as its two themes for the day’s proceedings at the summit. While negotiators from national governments continue to negotiate the overarching agreement for the conference – a process which, we are told, has been slower than anticipated – we can expect several key initiatives on water and gender topics to be launched today. There will also likely be updates from existing major initiatives.
A new partnership between the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and Egyptian Presidency, centred around embedding water management in national climate adaptation efforts, is the major announcement for this morning. The Action for Water Adaptation and Resilience (AWARE) initiative is now open for governments to sign up.
The initiative sets out three priorities for governments, namely decreasing water loss and waste and improving water access; collaborating on water-related climate adaptation and recognising the link between action on water and the delivery of key climate goals, as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The key SDG of focus is SDG 6, clean water and sanitation.
On the first priority, trillions of gallons of water are wasted globally each year. The main sources of losses are leaks and damage in water systems and intensive water users, including manufacturing, energy and agriculture. This will directly impact efforts to improve water access in low-income nations. According to the UN’s forecasts, 1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water in or near home by 2030, and 2.8 billion people will lack safely managed sanitation. These people are more likely to live in water-stressed areas.