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Canada Urged to Be Global Leader on Water Issues

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Canada, with its abundance of water and expertise in managing the vital resource, will be called on to help other nations struggling to deal with frequent drought, flooding and water quality concerns in the not too distant future.

Demand for water in many countries will exceed supply by an estimated 40 per cent in 15 to 20 years, and only one third of the world's population will have half the water needed for life's basics, global researchers have predicted.

They forecast that by 2020, a $1 trillion market will exist for technologies and plans to discover, manage, filter, disinfect and distribute water – a process in which Canada is a leader.

"Climate changes will affect all societies and eco-systems most profoundly through the medium of water, but there is no other way to generalize the crises ahead," said Zafar Adeel, chair of UN Water, which co-ordinates water-related efforts for 28 United Nations organizations.

"At unpredictable times, too much water will arrive in some places and too little in others."

He added, "There is a significant amount of knowledge and technologies that are available within Canada, but they don't seem to be visible at the international level."

Adeel was meeting in Ottawa with 300 scientists, policy-makers and economists from around the world to discuss a global approach to managing and protecting water at an event hosted by the Canadian Water Network, a Waterloo, Ontario, organization that works on resolving water conflicts.

He said the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), which represents 19 Middle Eastern-countries has already considered Canadian help to improve water management and policy.

Canada's freshwater lakes and rivers roughly equal the area of Spain, Germany and Belgium combined, which equates to about nine per cent of the global supply. But as only one per cent of Canada's freshwater supply is renewed by precipitation, strict measures have to be enforced to prevent water scarcity.

Source: Postmedia News

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