[ASC-media] World Bank's Approach to Water Resources Featured in Australia

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Sun Nov 16 19:33:27 EST 2003


World Bank's Approach to Water Resources Featured in Australia

A balanced approach to water resources management—one comprised of both
better water resources management and priority new infrastructure to support
environmentally and socially sustainable development—will be presented by Dr
Stephen F. Lintner, Senior Technical Adviser to the Environment Department
of the World Bank at the Annual Symposium of the Australian Academy of
Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

More than 200 international and national water specialists in critical
technical and policy areas will be participating in the Conference, “Water:
the Australian Dilemma” on Monday, 17 and Tuesday, 18 November at the
Carlton Crest Hotel, Queens Rd, Albert Park, Melbourne.

The Conference is part of the activities organized during the International
Year of Freshwater. It focuses on information that Australian governments
need when considering the way forward on water management, including optimal
solutions to the economic, social, environmental, legal and technological
dilemmas and challenges facing Australia and its water resources.

“The issues and ramifications embraced by a consideration of Australia’s
water resources for urban, agricultural and environmental ends require a
comprehensive and national approach,” said Dr John Zillman, President of
ATSE. ATSE represents over six hundred of the country’s top specialists in
applications of science & technology and unites Australia’s most eminent
engineers and applied technologists. “Standards of best practice,
innovation, education and the law need to be framed with consistency in
setting the directions for urban, agricultural and environmental water use
and flow pattens Australia-wide,” said Dr Zillman.

World Bank’s Dr Lintner agreed that “this integral approach is not only
valid for Australia but also at the international level.” He provided a
global perspective on water management; reflected on the early lessons
learned by the World Bank on water resources in sustainable development, and
the key role that water management plays in generating stability among
nations and contributing to responsible growth. Dr Lintner noted that the
World Bank views water as a catalyst for cooperation.

Reflecting on current environmental trends related to water, he noted that,
“during the last century, while the world’s population tripled, use of water
has increased six-fold
. 50% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared, many
important groundwater aquifers are depleted and global action is needed to
secure access to safe water supply and sanitation, meet food and industrial
needs, and maintain ecosystems.”

He underlined that due to climate change patterns, many developing countries
are becoming more vulnerable, or as an Indian Finance Minister said, “Every
one of my budgets is largely a gamble on rain.”

“At a global level, emerging issues include adapting to hydrological
variability, linking freshwater, coastal and marine resources management,
and addressing river and lake basin management,” he emphasized.

Dr Lintner went on to describe the World Bank’s approach: “The water sector
comprises 16% of the World Bank’s overall lending, to both private and
public sector partners, and there has been a shift in policy and operations
from a sectoral to a multi-sectoral approach to water resources planning and
development.” He explained that the World Bank is now tailoring its
activities to a region or country’s political, economic, environmental,
social, historical and cultural circumstances. “There is no one size fits
all policy in the water sector.”

For further information and additional press releases on other speakers, or
to arrange interviews, contact Cathy Reade, Media Liaison, ATSE, 0413 575

A press conference will be held at 10am on Monday, 17 November at the
Carlton Crest Hotel involving all international speakers including:

à	On Global Water Resources: Dr Stephen Lintner, Environment Department, The
World Bank, responsible for Bankwide coordination and oversight of measures
to support the environmental and social soundness of Bank projects
à	On Water Recycling: Mr Paul Gagliardo, Senior Program Director, Earth Tech
Inc. California, USA, a world specialist on water recycling, who was
responsible for Melbourne’s water recycling program
à	On National Legislation, Licensing and Water Management: Mr James Perkins,
Senior Specialist Engineer, Department of Water Affairs & Forestry, South
Africa, one of the architects of SA’s National Water Act; the rollout of the
National Water Resource Strategy and the first Compulsory Licensing Project
for the overall management of water resources for South Africa
à	On Innovative Water Technology: Prof Uri Shamir, Director of the Water
Research Institute, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
on Israel’s development and use of technological innovations such as water
treatment, wastewater treatment and reuse, desalination of sea-water, and
treatment of low quality waters.

A MINISTERIAL ADDRESS will be given by the Hon Warren Truss, Minister for
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at 8.35am on Tuesday, 18 November, at
which additional water initiatives are to be announced.

A PANEL DISCUSSION WITH ALL SPEAKERS and a summation by Prof Peter Cullen of
the Wentworth Group, will be held from 3.25pm on Tuesday, 18 November.

The symposium program, press releases, and speakers’ abstracts and bios are
available at http://www.atse.org.au/

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