Over 2,500 politicians, business leaders, innovators and representatives of international organizations met at the World Water Week in Stockholm in August to respond to global water challenges caused by humanity’s rapid urbanization. More than 100 sessions were held during the event. Convening experts explored the best courses of action to ensure that limited water resources are allocated to meet the growing demands from municipalities, agriculture, industries, energy utilities and households, in balance with nature’s capacity. Seven water/wastewater industry experts took part in a groundbreaking seminar, Identifying and Solving the Biggest Urban Water Needs, which examined critical water issues that urban areas are currently facing and the most appropriate ways that industry can respond to those needs. Speaking at the opening session, the 2011 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, Professor Stephen R. Carpenter of the University of Wisconsin-Madison highlighted that producing food for more people and bigger cities will strain available freshwater resources. Conference participants also conveyed their support for the Stockholm Statement, which calls on leadership elements participating at the Rio+20 Summit (June 4-6, 2012) to commit to achieving “universal provisioning of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and modern energy services by the year 2030,” and to adopt intervening targets to increase efficiency in the management of water, energy and food.

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