Children play an eductional game at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia, 17 March 2018. Photo: World Water Forum

BRASILIA, 18 March 2018 (AFP) – Brazil, the country with the world’s greatest fresh water reserves, hosts an international conference next week on growing fears over the fragility of drinking water supplies in a heating planet.

Under the slogan “sharing water,” the 8th World Water Forum will bring together 15 heads of state and government, 300 mayors and dozens of experts in the Brazilian capital Brasilia from Sunday to March 23.

An estimated 40,000 people are expected to attend, organizers say.

Participants will meet against the backdrop of the drama in Cape Town, which until earlier this month was projected to run out of water as early as July, forcing the closing of household taps and extreme rationing.

That crisis has now eased, with the local government saying that a campaign to bring 60 percent reduction in consumption has done enough to avert the shut-off. [Somebody had better tell the people at How many days of water does Cape Town have left? –Des]

But the drama is a reminder that many of the world’s biggest fresh water systems are under pressure from pollution, overuse, dams, and climate change.

“There are more reservoirs, more cars, more industry and more people. Counter measures to protect supplies remain very slim compared to the impacts we’re seeing,” Ney Maranhao, head of Brazil’s National Water Agency, told AFP. [more]

World water problems on tap at Brazil conference

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