Conserve and use water intelligently is the great challenge that the world has in general and especially Latin America, said Tuesday the Spaniard Francisco de Paula Lombardo, president of the Water Economy Forum.
At the start of the Smart City Expo Latam Congress 2019 in Puebla, a Latin American summit of smart cities, organized by Fira Barcelona Mexico, Lombardo recalled that seven of the great risks that humanity has today have to do with water.
Among them are the great floods and droughts and one of every four cities in the world already suffer from water stress.
In an interview with Efe, Lombardo said that the “climate emergency” has among its main vectors issues related to water, and therefore humanity has to find “answers urgently.”
“We are probably the last generation that we have the ability to do,” he added.
The specialist said that Latin America lives a phenomenon of large urban agglomerations and suffers the consequences of the climate crisis so it is necessary to place the issue of water at the center of the political agenda.
Lombardo, co-author of the “White Paper on the Economy of Water,” recalled that a few months ago Cape Town in South Africa suffered a situation of extreme shortages and noted that the highest water authority in Lima, capital of Peru, “explained that the city can live a situation of real difficulty of supply in the coming months “.
He stressed that large cities such as Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Lima and Buenos Aires have problems to solve both in terms of supply and sanitation.
He added that most people are not aware of the use of water.
“We open the tap and we do not know or know all the economic efforts behind it, by 2050 we will be 10,000 million inhabitants and the conditions of access to water will be much more complicated”, concluded Lombardo.
For his part, José Carlos Díez, director of the Water Economics Forum and part of the advisory council for Latin America of the United Nations Development Program, pointed out the great challenge is not in access to water in the region but in sanitation and water recycling, and also how it is used more intelligently.
“Climate change is already a fact and we must make a realistic diagnosis and an urgent public policy plan because we must act quickly,” he said.
He explained that it is precisely climate change that has accelerated water scarcity.
Problem that has caused agricultural crises, for example, in Central America and that causes large migratory movements, which in turn generate conflicts between countries such as the recent one between Mexico and the United States, “everything is related”.
The Water Economy Forum, which takes place within the Smart City Expo Latam Congress 2019, has as its theme the access, management and preservation of water resources in Latin America.
The Latin American summit of smart cities, the Smart City Expo Latam Congress 2019, was inaugurated this day in the Mexican city of Puebla where it will run until July 4.
The meeting is the platform and the meeting point and debate between the main actors of change, innovation, transformation and collaboration of Latin American cities that brings together the main actors of urban transformation.
The event will feature speakers and speakers from throughout Latin America and delegations from different countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela.