Interesting to see a 52-page report written from the perspective of an insurance giant. While this may appear to be a pitch to businesses to buy more insurance, “Climate change and security: Risks and opportunities for business” is a very serious report filled with important points about how the worldwide water crisis is interconnected to nearly all climate issues as they relate to the future of business and society.
Within the next 40 years there will be an additional 2.5 billion mouths to feed on earth and global food production will have to double. Given that one litre of water is needed to produce one calorie of food, the IWMI says by 2050 the world will need to find another 6,000 cubic kilometers of water annually – twice what is used today.
Water scarcity is a life threatening issue for people in many developing countries. With greater investment in water management, irrigation and reservoir building experts agree that the scarcity problems faced in many regions could be eased. Unfortunately, investment in water security through development agencies has slowed since the Seventies.
The U.S. government is vowing to keep an open dialogue just as it seems it’s getting stuck back in it’s tight-lipped ways. Today the White House Open Government Initiative released the Open Government Directive (PDF) and the Open Government Progress Report to the American People (pdf).
OMB director Peter Orszag explains at WhiteHouse.gov:
The directive, sent to the head of every federal department and agency today, instructs the agencies to take specific actions to open their operations to the public. The three principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration are at the heart of this directive. Transparency promotes accountability. Participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise to government initiatives. Collaboration improves the effectiveness of government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the federal government, across levels of government, and between the government and private institutions.