Thursday, 22 March 2012

SusChem salutes WWD 2012

Today (March 22) is World Water Day 2012 and SusChem salutes all participants in this annual international event that highlights the importance of freshwater and advocates the sustainable management of freshwater resources: two objectives that SusChem fully supports. This international day to celebrate fresh water was first considered at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and 22 March 1993 was designated as the first World Water Day by the United Nations General Assembly. The theme for 2012 is 'Water and Food Security'.

With over seven billion people to feed on the planet today and another two billion expected to join us by 2050 ensuring there is freshwater for all is a grand global challenge. We all need two to four litres of water to drink every day, however on top of this we also ‘drink’ significantly more through water used to produce the food we eat: for example it is estimated that to produce one kilo of beef consumes 15 000 litres of water, while one kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1 500 litres.

With one billion people in the world already living in chronic hunger and water resources under pressure, this is clearly a global problem. Coping with population growth and ensuring access to nutritious food for everyone calls for a series of actions we can all help with, including:
  • follow a healthier, sustainable diet
  • consume less water-intensive products
  • reduce food wastage (30% of the food produced worldwide goes to waste!)
  • produce more food, of better quality, with less water
At all steps of the supply chain, from producers to consumers, actions can be taken to save water and ensure food for all.

To find out more on the World Water Day 2012 campaign “Water and Food Security” you can visit the campaign website, become friends with WWD2012 on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or see event images on Flickr or watch their video stream on Youtube!

What is SusChem doing?
The chemical industry as one of the biggest water consumers can lead the development of integrated water strategies through technologies that reduce water consumption, reduce use of fresh water resources (through cascade use of urban, industrial and rural areas), and optimise waste water management.

The industry is also one of the biggest providers of water treatment materials and technologies. Our experience will allow us to develop new approaches to improve other sectors’ water management and public sector water requirements. But no one sector can tackle this challenge alone. Water is used intensively in agricultural and industrial sectors and for public use, so there is a need for integrated solutions within a symbiotic approach.

SusChem is working to boost innovation in water related topics to contribute to improved use and treatment of water and further develop a sustainable water policy.

To achieve these solutions SusChem is working with partners, including the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP), to develop the proposed European Innovation Partnership on Water. The Partnership has some ambitious objectives including reducing private water consumption and increasing water efficiency in irrigation.

SusChem is contributing to a new website on the chemical industry and sustainable water resources that is due to launch in early April. The launch will be covered by SusChem News.

For more information on SusChem activities and initiatives on water efficiency contact Antonia Morales Perez at Cefic.

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