Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has continued Australia’s leadership on global water management by participating in the High Level Panel on Water in New York on behalf of Prime Minister Turnbull.
The Panel includes 11 world leaders and aims to promote efforts to achieve sustainable fresh water use and clean water and sanitation for the world.
It is estimated that the world will face a 40 per cent water shortage by 2030. Water security is fundamental to global security and prosperity, and is a key element in Australia’s efforts to improve the livelihoods of people in our region.
Australia is leading three of the Panel’s initiatives, drawing on our world leading expertise in water science, technology and management. Australia’s World Water Data Initiative will ease access to water data for decision-makers by aligning standards and reducing costs. Our Water Use Efficiency initiative will help developing countries manage their water resources by providing policy guidance including on sustainable irrigation practices. The Water Innovation Engine will identify, test and invest in innovations that improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
The first Water Innovation Engine innovation challenge is seeking new ways to deliver critical information to farmers in developing countries to improve agricultural output. Today the Engine will launch a second innovation challenge focused on urban water sanitation.
The Australian Government’s Water for Women Fund, announced last year, will be operational in 2018. The program will invest $110.6 million over five years to deliver water, sanitation and hygiene services focussing on women and girls.