He was delivering a video message to the Budapest Water Summit, being held in Budapest from 15 to 17 October.
He added that 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment. And more than 90% of natural disasters are water-related.
Growing demand for water, poor resource management, and the climate emergency have all added to the stress. At the same time, solutions exist — from conservation strategies to desalination technologies.
Mr. Guterres said in his message that scaling up such initiatives is urgent and crucial for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), combating the climate crisis, preventing water-related conflicts, and building lives of dignity for all.
“Our bodies, our cities, and our industries, our agriculture and our ecosystems all depend on water. Water is a human right. The United Nations is fully committed to working with you to uphold this right for all,” the UN chief said.
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