Brussels, 22 May 2012 – The United Nations European campaign on water issues, Drop by Drop - the Future We Want Campaign, is among almost 3,000 participants in this years Green Week at the European Commission´s headquarters in Brussels.
A selection of the top 30 ads in the Drop by Drop newspaper ad competition is on display prominently at Green Week, Europe's largest environment conference which kicked off 22 May under the banner "The Water Challenge – Every Drop Counts".
At the opening of Green Week, Ida Auken, the Minister for the Environment of Denmark, speaking on behalf of the Danish EU presidency, said that if we proceeded with business as usual , the human demand for clean water supply would outstrip the resource by as much as 40% by 2030, and by that time 50% of the world's population will live in regions with water shortages.
Water is one of the main issues at June´s Rio + 20 Conference on Sustainable Development. Ms. Auken struck a pessimistic tone and said that the EU seemed "to be pretty alone in having high ambitions."
"Personally, I'm not scared of being alone but I have recognised that it is going to be extremely difficult to reach consensus on ambitious new actions to be agreed in Rio. But there are three weeks left and I won't give up on having an ambitious result and especially when it comes to water," Ms. Auken said.
She also pointed out that the reduction of urban water leakage alone could provide billions of dollars in resource benefits throughout the world.
"When you combine this with the fact that even in a developed region like the EU, 20 to 40% of the freshwater abstracted is wasted. Then something is wrong," minister Auken said. "EU Member States are among the leaders in water technology - but even within the EU there is great potential to do better."
A recent European Commission survey shows that 7 out of 10 Europeans think that water-related problems are a serious concern.
To view the Green Week 2012 programme and follow the sessions live, see: