Brief – 8 September 2010 – 2,500 leading water experts are convening in Stockholm for the 20th annual World Water Week,  discussing issues of water quality, access, urbanisation and climate change adaptation.

Held under the theme “Responding to Global Changes: The Water Quality Challenge” the meeting’s first day was headlined by 2010 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, Dr. Rita Colwell, who warned that shortcomings in addressing the water quality issue, coupled with climate changes, could lead to disastrous outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera, which would in turn affect economic and national security.

Executive director of Stockholm International Water Institute Anders Bertnell said in his welcoming address that water pollution poses as one of the major threats to humanity.

“Bad water kills more people than HIV, malaria and wars together, affecting the lives of families and the economic development of many countries around the world. We are also increasingly seeing that ecosystems and their services are being degraded by pollution, which will affect all functions of society,” said Mr. Bertnell.