September 18, 2012 casper

LAUNCH: WATER CHALLENGE STATEMENT

The Earth, with its diverse and abundant life forms, including over 6 billion humans, is facing a serious water crisis.

In the developing world, the crisis is borne disproportionately by poor and underserved people. These populations are blighted by the burdens of water-related disease, lack of access to clean water for drinking and sanitation, and inadequate levels of water for food and sustenance. In the developed world, the crisis is caused by the persistent undervaluing of water, the inefficient use of water in agriculture and industry, the increasingly codependent relationship between water and energy, and the ever-increasing demand for water from consumers.

Furthermore, many natural water sources are compromised by waste from industrial, agricultural, and other human enterprises. Entire ecosystems are marred by altering natural water ways to service demand where little supply exists. These extreme, short-term measures continue without regard for the consequences to this and future generations.

The threat of an impending water crisis affects all of us. Society bears an urgent responsibility to not only implement widespread conservation measures but to develop bold, innovative, potentially disruptive approaches to reengineer the balance between human activity and this most vital resource. We need to find new technologies and scientific advancements, new models, and new organizations that collectively will help move society from water crisis to water sustainability.