Water Is the Source of Life on Earth: Is It an Exhaustible Resource?
Global climate change, droughts, floods, typhoons, and heavy rains reflect the dynamics of the planet's water balance, which suffers from increasing anthropogenic pressure. Taking into account that access to water resources is one of the key factors of social and economic development, it does not come as a surprise that many countries are already experiencing a host of problems: shortage of drinking water, deterioration of water sources, all that against the background of population growth. The water sector needs updates in regulation, technological modernization, digitalization, and the use of novel financial solutions. Issues like rational use of water, preservation of resources, and promotion of a circular economy are becoming increasingly relevant. As the demand for water increases, the probability of conflicts, including those between neighbouring states, increases as well. Russia has vast experience in transboundary water regulation and is ready to share. The Russian Federation supported the expansion of the mandate of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, which is now approved as a global mechanism for regulating water disputes between states. The Helsinki Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea, the Tehran Convention on the Caspian Sea, and other mechanisms are examples of international cooperation on marine conservation. But they do not resolve all issues of water management, which can only be addressed by joint efforts of states, science, business, and public. What mechanisms work best to achieve sustainable development goals, first of all for provision of quality water? Will the new action plan be implemented in the Baltic Sea? How to restore Aral Sea resources? How to minimize industry pressure on water bodies? Ocean economy or "blue economy" – is it a special development pattern? How to save transport corridors? How to ensure safe extraction of resources of seas and oceans?
Ilya Razbash, Director, Information and Analysis Center for the Development of the Water Management Complex
Yuriy Balega, Vice-President, Russian Academy of Sciences
Dmitriy Kirillov, Head, Federal Water Resources Agency
Dmitry Kobylkin, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection
Elena Postol, Chief Executive Officer, Aquanika
Irek Fayzullin, Minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services of the Russian Federation