With 40 per cent of the world's population to face water shortages by 2050, financing for national climate plans with an adaptation component submitted under the Paris Climate Change Agreement prioritise action on water would need to triple to 255 billion euros (about $295 billion) per year to meet such targets.
This was a key message of the international water community on Friday at their action event during the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference here.
"Sustainable use of water for multiple purposes must remain a way of life and needs to be at the centre of building resilient cities and human settlements and ensuring food security in a climate change context," said Women for Water Partnership President Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, according to a statement.
The international water community co-signed what it called a "nature-based solution declaration" at the opening of the Water Action Day to encourage the use of natural systems in managing healthy water supplies.
They said water tends to be a local issue but consequences of its unwise management have global impact, adding that around 40 per cent of the world's population will face water shortages by 2050, accelerating migration and triggering conflict, while some regions could lose up to six per cent of their economic output, unless it is better managed.
Obstacles in accessing funding to meet climate change investment requirements in the water sector hinders achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal Six (ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), as well as endangering the Paris Agreement's goal to keep the average global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees.
"Involving both women and men in decision making and integrated water resources initiatives leads to better sustainability, governance and efficiency," said Verhoef-Cohen, who is also the Co-Chair of Water Scarcity in Agriculture Platform.
The international water community encompasses several networks, including ClimateIsWater, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation and Global Alliances for Water and Climate.
The community underlined the imperative to develop closer cooperation within the climate community, as well as the energy, agriculture, urban, health, and oceans communities.
Water community experts said countries should turn their commitments into ambitious actions, notably by enhancing the efforts announced in their national climate plans - known as nationally-determined contributions.
Water must emerge as a greater priority in national policies and be integrated within other major sectors such as energy, food security, health, education, they said.
Two years after the world united around the Paris Climate Agreement and a year after its entry into force, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) 197 parties have been reconvened for the 23rd annual climate change talks in Bonn till November 17.
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