April 23, 2019 Tuesday
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On the verge of a water crisis
There is no question that there will be a water crisis in the 21st century because its effects are already occurring in Hungary. Also, there is no question whether it will affect companies, the answer is clear: it will – Prof. Dr. András Szöllősi-Nagy pointed out at the BCSDH Business Breakfast and Action 2020 Professional Forum in Budapest this March.
Diplomacy&Trade online | March 27, 2019

Prof. Dr. András Szöllősi-Nagy, Deputy Chairman of the Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO International Hydrological Program and Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences delivered a successful and thought-provoking lecture at the Business Breakfast of the Hungarian Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSDH), an organization with 87 member companies that produce 30% of the Hungarian GDP. It was followed by an Action 2020 workshop, with the participation of CEOs and experts, aimed at helping the business sector to make real improvements in the area of water.

In his introductory thoughts, Dr. Gábor Bartus, Secretary General of the National Sustainable Development Council (NFFT), highlighted that “despite previous efforts, Earth's natural capital continues to decline at a very fast pace. Today's poor sustainability performance means tomorrow's weaker socio-economic well-being. Fortunately, for humanity, remedial technologies, patterns, institutions and values have been identified and are available. These can prevent the destruction of natural resources, or at least substantially slow down the process.”

Climate change and water

According to a forecast by the OECD, by 2050, global water use will increase by 55%. Most of this growth will be due to an increase in the demand for water from manufacturing, the energy sector and households. “Most of the effects of climate change will become visible through changes in water, thus, all businesses must prepare to use water more efficiently. Climate-change and water-related problems should not be approached from an engineering perspective only, as water use has important economic, sociological and political implications, as well. In the next 10 years, the biggest risk factor will be ignoring water-related problems, extreme weather, climate change and the social consequences of these phenomena. Only 0.007% of Earth’s water resources are available for direct human consumption. We are on the verge of a water crisis,” András Szöllősi-Nagy explained.

Security of supply

BCSDH President Attila Chikán pointed out that “although, Hungary is for now in a favorable position from the perspective of water supply, it is crucial that we sustain this beneficial situation in the long term. The business sector has a role to play in achieving this. CEOs have the primary responsibility of recognizing the importance of adaptation and starting the process of adapting. The issue of increasing water efficiency partly involves market competition as well – a fact, which cannot be separated from the issue of security of supply. Additionally, ensuring a supply of suitable quality water will also prove to be increasingly challenging for companies. This year, through our Action 2020 program, we aim to support the efforts of companies in these areas.”

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