News in English     | 22.03.2023. 17:04 |

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BiH among most water-rich countries, but there is less and less drinking water

FENA Vanja Tolj

SARAJEVO, March 22 (FENA) – The central event of World Water Day was held today in Sarajevo, under the motto of this year's campaign "Be the change". World Water Day has been celebrated for three decades on March 22. Each year, different content is used to draw attention to the priceless value of water resources, and to raise public awareness of the ever-present global water crisis.

The campaign aims to encourage people to take action in order to change the way they use and manage water.

The director of the Agency for the Water Area of the Sava River in Sarajevo, Sead Delić, points out that every year on March 22, attention is drawn to water protection, protection from water and sustainable management of water resources.

- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, this day is marked by various scientific, professional and educational meetings, with the aim of drawing attention to water. This year's motto tells us that we don't have time to wait when it comes to water protection, but we must start in all fields in order to ultimately save water and life on the planet. Those who have water do not pay attention to its protection, while those who are deprived of it watch out, protect, often fight for it, and many lose their lives due to the lack of drinking water - said Delić.

He notes that the shortage of drinking water in the world will be the biggest problem in the 21st century, because 40 percent of the population of the planet Earth does not have clean sources of drinking water. As he said, this is not a consequence of the lack of water, which is a constant in nature, but the increase in the number of inhabitants of the planet, climate change, urbanization, agriculture and industry, and especially surface water pollution.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the richest countries with water. With 9,460 cubic meters of water per inhabitant, BiH is first in the region and fifth in Europe. This does not necessarily mean that they will have sufficient amounts of drinking water in the future, because according to the Agency's latest study regarding the sustainability and long-term supply of water to the population, and for the needs of industry, agriculture and other branches, there will be enough water for several decades.

- This does not mean that we cannot pollute that water. It will be a real challenge for all actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina to preserve clean and potable water. We will have to work on raising awareness of the importance of water conservation, starting from primary schools and continuing. Far greater financial resources are needed for the water sector - Delić added.

Annually, 1.4 million people die in the world, and 74 million will live shorter lives due to diseases caused by the use of poor quality water, inadequate sanitary conditions and problems related to hygiene. Today, one in four people worldwide does not have safe drinking water.

The latest figures show that governments need to work an average of four times faster to meet the 'water and sanitation for all by 2030' target on time.

The representative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry, Alma Imamović, notes that in the last period, this ministry initiated the development of strategic planning documents, and plans for water management were adopted and published.

- Also, the preparation of flood risk protection plans is in the process, and last year we launched a reform agenda for the field of water services. I regret that citizens are not more involved in these reform processes, because we all have to be part of the change in the preservation of water resources - she said.

The available data confirm that Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently not exploiting more water than the balance reserves allow. In order to maintain such a state in the long term, it is necessary to ensure the rational use of resources, reduce pollution and implement measures to preserve the natural water regime as much as possible, while applying the principles of sustainable water management.

(FENA) L. N.

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