Switzerland marks World Water Day
Switzerland is calling for a more fair distribution of water resources at an international meeting at The Hague to mark World Water Day. Although there is enough water to meet global demands, it says a billion people are without access to clean water.
Switzerland is calling for a more fair distribution of water resources at an international meeting at The Hague to mark World Water Day. Although there is enough water to meet global demands, Switzerland says one billion people are still without access to clean water.
The week-long forum focused on the recent catastrophic cyanide spills in Romania. The leak from a mine sent deadly chemicals into rivers in Romania, Hungary and Yugoslavia, killing at least 100,000 tonnes of fish.
The Swiss federal environment agency said there should be cross-border penalties for polluters. It also called for governments to put their energies into cleaning and protecting ecosystems, which are vital to the safeguarding of water supplies.
The Swiss branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) spotlighted the importance of preserving tropical zones across the world in order to control supplies of drinking water. It also noted that agriculture takes up 70 per cent of global water supplies and that good drainage and irrigation systems are necessary to ensure its recycling. But the systematic usage of pesticides is polluting water, it cautioned.
Earlier, the president of the World Water Forum said the organisation wanted to establish an award, similar to the Nobel prize, for services in improving global water supplies. The award will be named after King Hassan the second of Morrocco, who convened the first Water Forum in 1997.
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