In anticipation of the next World Water Summit, the second on this theme organized by the United Nations since 1977, which will be held from March 22 to 24 in New York, many French players in the sector met on February 6 at the Ministry of the Environment in Paris.
This is a
question for humanity, recalled Christophe Béchu, Minister for Ecological Transition, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Secretary of State for Development, Bérangère Couillard, Secretary of State for Ecology and Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, Minister Delegate for Health.
The question has worsened with the repeated droughts, caused by climatic disturbances that affect the whole world.
In 2015, the United Nations set a sustainable development goal to ensure universal access to drinking water and sanitation services by 2030.
Unfortunately, little progress has been made internationally.
According to Gérard Payen, vice-president of the French Water Partnership, the association which brings together the main private and public water players, at the initiative of the symposium in Paris, before
the establishment of a new thermometer in 2015, the problem was underestimated by a factor of 3 to 4
In 2015, before the indicator change, the estimate was 500 million people.
But the situation is in fact much worse, specifies Gérard Payen:
“There are 2
billion people who do not have proper access to drinking water in 2021, according to the United Nations.
And for access to
sanitation , which does not risk promoting the spread of disease, the situation is even more worrying.
Nearly half of the world's population (3.6 billion people) still does not benefit from a decent sanitation service.
Again, progress is too slow.
It would be necessary to quadruple the current efforts which have enabled an increase of
% to 9
in the increase in the world population with adequate access to drinking water and sanitation from 2015 to 2020. In addition, this slight improvement masks
a very strong deterioration in sub-Saharan Africa and in urban areas
, adds Gérard Payen.
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Bérangère Couillard stressed that the 2022 drought in France, witness to a warming world, had served as an electric shock to encourage the government to get down to
water planning to share the resource
and manage it .
best at the local level.
Alas, France is not always exemplary.
There are still in mainland France and in the overseas departments (DOM)
affected by poor access to drinking water resources
, assesses Agnès Firmin Le Bodo.
% of the population in Mayotte and 20
% in Guyana do not have access to drinking water
, recognizes Najib Mahfoudhi, interministerial coordinator of the water plan for the overseas departments, who recalls that
the results are quite mixed
for the improvement of the networks.
Leaks cause the loss of 60% of the total production of drinking water in Guadeloupe, ie a yield of only 40% for distribution.
“Network performance is 80
% in mainland France, 60
% in Italy and 70
% in Great Britain ,
compares Maximilien Pellegrini, president of the Professional Federation of Water Companies.
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(French Development Agency)
% to 10
% of its annual investments to water projects, including one in the suburbs of Cairo
, recalls Gilles Kleitz, Director of Sustainable Development Solutions at AFD.
He points out that a conference on ambition is great, but that making commitments is even better.
Alas, the upcoming UN Water Summit is not expected to offer any concrete solutions, except for the creation of a post of UN Water Secretary.