Jakarta (ANTARA) - Apart from the projected drought that will impact 500 million smallholder farmers by 2050, the world must face the grim reality that only one percent of the water on earth is available for human consumption.

The saying "No water, no life, no growth," is not an exaggeration.

People understand that water is the source of life, a symbol of balance and harmony, but it can also be the source of disaster.

Water, either too much or too little, can pose problems for all living creatures on Earth.

The conclusion reached in several researches is that water must be managed to the best of one's abilities, as every drop is valuable.

The message for good water management was also conveyed at the 10th World Water Forum (WWF) event in Bali on May 18-25, 2024.

At the 10th WWF Summit, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will call on world leaders and global stakeholders to strengthen collaboration in managing water resources in a sustainable manner.

Indonesians have honored water since the time of their ancestors.

Local wisdom related to prudent water management has existed since the past, for instance, Bali has the local wisdom of the Subak agricultural irrigation system that has been applied since the 11th century.

Professor of Tourism at Udayana University, I Gde Pitana, stated that the Subak system is not only applied to support irrigation of land or rice fields that produce food but is also a system that has spiritual and cultural values that are essential for hydrological sustainability.

The strength of culture with high local values, especially related to water conservation, can become a unique tourism attraction.

The Subak system was introduced at the 10th WWF as a development implementation that integrates water, land, and resources to maximize social and economic welfare without harming the environment. All aspects of Subak are managed based on local wisdom.

The 10th WWF is expected to encourage water conservation fighters who support peace and prosperity through inclusive cooperation to face the global water challenges.

"The Next Oil"

The 10th WWF also discussed the urgency of global collaboration in managing water resources to face global complex challenges.

It is legitimate when President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), in his speech, described water as the next oil, given its important role in supporting global economic and ecological sustainability.

The World Bank estimated that water shortages could slow down economic growth in some countries by up to six percent by 2050.

Meanwhile, the WWF has become highly strategic to bring about concrete actions and realize joint commitments in implementing integrated water resource system.

Indonesia encouraged three actions at the forum, namely increasing the principles of solidarity and inclusivity, empowering concrete and innovative hydro-diplomacy, and strengthening political leadership in international water governance.

Indonesia also proposed four initiatives at the forum, namely the establishment of World Lakes Day, the establishment of a Center of Excellence in Asia Pacific for water security and climate resilience, sustainable water governance for developing countries and small island states, and building some water projects.

These initiatives demonstrated Indonesia's commitment to leading global efforts in sustainable water governance.

The forum is very strategic, as its attendees comprised state leaders, international organizations, and delegates from various countries. The call for global cooperation in addressing the challenges of water resources management became highly significant.

This is because water management requires global collaboration and joint efforts.

Water warriors

World Water Council (WWC) President Loic Fauchon invited the global community to jointly save the Earth by becoming water warriors.

Amid various human activities that are causal to the water and climate crises, the world must create more water warriors.

Through the 10th WWF's theme of "Water for Shared Prosperity," Fauchon invited water warriors to agree on seven main commitments.

First, the commitment on water warriors to promote water security policies around the world.

Water warriors also need to convince the world that water security requires modification and behavioral change in people.

The world's water warriors need to call on all nations to include the right to clean water in their national constitutions, laws, and also local regulations.

Furthermore, the 10th WWF called on water warriors to take part in a water coalition that will be present at the next United Nations (UN) conference.

The water coalition will convey commitments to eliminate the gap of water access in poor countries.

Water warriors are urged to help ensure that climate funds can also be allocated for water issues, including wastewater.

The world's water warriors must also call for actions to ensure better water governance based on
multilateral cooperation.

The WWF believes that it is important to strengthen the mediation rules for river, lake, and river drainage basin area discussions.

Bali, through the implementation of the 10th WWF, conveyed a reminder to the world to realize about how significant water is for the survival of life.

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Translator: Hanni S, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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