President János Áder has proposed setting up an international body of scientists under the aegis of the United Nations to tackle an impending shortage of drinking water.
Addressing a World Water Week conference in Stockholm, the Hungarian president said that “the world has now understood the impact of climate change but not of the water crisis”.
Áder insisted that all countries would be affected by the water crisis and said that “the drama of water is unfolding”. “We are no longer talking about the future but about cardinal problems of the present,” he said. He also noted that political crises of the present time were connected to issues in water supply.
In his lecture, the president said that coal-fueled energy plants needed to be suppressed not only because of their high carbon-dioxide emissions but because they consumed “as much water as could supply 1 billion people”.
Unless current water-related policies are changed, a combat against poverty cannot be successful, Ader warned, and urged an increase of investment in the water infrastructure. He called it important that the UN should have an official in charge of water-related issues.
As part of his three-day official visit to Stockholm, Áder has attended this year’s Water Prize ceremony and was received by King Carl XVI Gustaf.