China ready to share experiences at the 18th World Water Congress

The 18th World Water Congress convenes in Beijing, China's capital, on Monday and will run until September 15. 

As one of the world's largest congresses linking water policymakers, researchers and policy practitioners, the congress has been held by the International Water Resources Association every three years since 1973. It is the first time that the congress is being held in China. 

About 600 delegates from foreign government bodies, research institutes, universities and water-related international organizations are expected to attend the event, according to the co-organizer, China's Ministry of Water Resources. The conference will also be attended by almost 700 delegates from water resources authorities, companies, research institutes and universities across China.

The shortage of water resources, water pollution and other problems have become a global issue. On average, ten percent of the global population live in countries with high or critical water stress and up to 3.5 billion people, which is almost half of the world's population, live under conditions of water stress at least one month a year, according to a report issued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Some 700 million people could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030 and roughly 1 in 4 children worldwide will be living in areas of extremely high water stress by 2040.

With the theme "Water for All: Harmony between Humans and Nature," the congress aims to gather all parties to share knowledge and experience on water resources management and to promote coordination and balance between the water needs of humans and nature. It includes a series of activities held under six sub-themes, including Building Resilience for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Establishing Sustainable Water Infrastructures and Innovation for Water Governance and Management.

Also, a Beijing declaration is expected to be issued at the conference, which will include consensus reached at the congress and initiatives based on China's experiences in water governance.

"With the congress as an opportunity, China is willing to share its philosophy, achievement and experiences on water resources management with people from across the world," said Liu Weiping, vice minister of the ministry.

(Cover: Flower Lake in Ruoergai County, southwest China's Sichuan Province. /CFP)

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