As August ends and summer draws to a close, World Water Week 2014 kicks off in Stockholm, Sweden.
Presented by the Stockholm International Water Institute since 1991, World Water Week serves as a platform for discussions about anything and everything that have an impact on our Earth’s water supply. The SIWS website says the annual event “brings together around 2,500 experts, practitioners, decision makers and business innovators from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions.”
This year’s theme is “Energy and Water.” As the site points out, our demand for resources is growing along with — and in many cases faster than — our population: “Over the next 30 years, food and energy demands are expected to increase dramatically. We will, however, depend on the same finite and vulnerable water resources for sustaining life, economic growth and our environment as we do today.”
It also drives home the point that water and energy are interconnected: “We need energy for pumping, storing, transporting and treating water, we need water for producing almost all sorts of energy. An increase or decrease in one will immediately affect the other.”
Discussions will include the ways in which energy and water can be managed “for the good of society and ecosystems – at local, national, regional and global levels – and avoid unintended consequences of narrow sectoral approaches.”
While you may not be heading to Sweden for the conference, you can play a vital role right here at home. Manage your own water and energy use wisely. Cut back on wasteful habits, such as driving to places that are within walking distance; leaving lights, TVs and other electronics on when they’re not being used; leaving the water run while you’re brushing your teeth; and throwing away items that could be recycled or reused.
Just remember to turn off your computer when you’re done.