Water - the blue gold of the 21st Century

Our water is a food and a means of production. It is both a source of energy and a world of experience. Water is a unique medium, whose limited availability and increasing value mankind is becoming progressively more aware of.

In the next few decades there will be a significant change in the global water resources in many parts of the world. According to the 'Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change' drought areas will expand further, heavy rainfalls will increase and glaciers and snow areas will get smaller. 'Freshwater stress' has dramatic consequences at the local level.

'We are entering an era of aggravated water shortage where easy access to 'blue water' is coming to an end in many parts of the world. Increasing water pollution, more and more depleted rivers, over-used groundwater, the threat to water consumption from salination and from water ecosystems slipping below the critical minimum indicate a turning point for 'blue water resources', says Prof. Malin Falkenmark from the Stockholm International Water Institute.

The hitherto inadequate, or poor, supply of hygienic and toxicologically harmless drinking water to a large proportion of the world's population, and the availability of sufficient process water, represent one of the most serious challenges to mankind over the next few decades.

Soon, the value of water will exceed that of crude oil.