Water and Sanitation Fourth evidence session
Tuesday 16 January 2007, Committee Room 16
John Chilton, Principal Hydrogeologist, Groundwater Programme, British Geological Survey
Dr Declan Conway, Senior Lecturer, School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia
Dr David Tickner, Head, Freshwater Programme, WWF-UK
Evidence of a global water crisis is widespread. Currently, more than 2 billion people have no access to sanitation and one billion are without access to clean water. The UN believes that over the next 2 decades the average supply of water per person worldwide will drop by a third. The increasing scarcity of water will hit poor people the hardest, with farmers, slum dwellers and women and children amongst the most vulnerable groups. Access to clean water and sanitation are basic human requirements, and are crucial to many aspects of poverty reduction, including improved health and sustainable economic and social development.
The International Development Committee is conducting an inquiry into Water and Sanitation. The main purpose of the inquiry is to examine how donors - notably the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) - can support progress towards Millennium Development Goal 7, which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015, and to support progress towards other MDGs through achieving outcomes in water and sanitation.
In 2005, DFID announced a doubling of its aid to Africa for water. The 2006 DFID White Paper doubled this figure again to £200 million by 2011. The White Paper pledges support for the delivery of water and sanitation services and the sustainable and equitable management of water resources. The inquiry is examining how DFID is fulfilling these commitments, as well as assessing multilateral efforts to secure progress on water and sanitation. The Committee is also looking at progress made by other stakeholders on water and sanitation provision.
The session on 16 January 2007 features three experts on Water Resource Management (WRM) and climate change. John Chilton is Principal Hydrogeologist for the British Geological Survey's Groundwater Programme. David Tickner is Head of WWF-UK's Freshwater Programme, which works on WRM in 28 of the world's major river basins. Declan Conway is based at the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia. His research focuses on climate change and water resources, particularly rainfall variability and the impacts of climate change and adaptation in WRM.
The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).
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