The 20th session session of the annual World Water Week opened on Monday to examine the theme, "The Water Quality Challenge – Prevention, Wise Use and Abatement".
The event organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), is the global point of reference for the planet's water issues. Each year it provides a unique forum for the exchange of views and experiences between the academic, policy, corporate and civic communities.
In addition to the seminars and debates, several awards are also presented recognising the dedication of actors and organisations around the world to improving the lives of millions through securing safe drinking water. To mark the event's 20th anniversary, this year the Stockholm Water Prize Laureates Seminar will be attended by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and will bring together seventeen previous winners of the Stockholm Water Prize.
Leading the way in urban water management issues, a topic of growing importance as more than half of the world's population now lives in cities, UN-HABITAT will convene four major events throughout the week. Of particular interest is the launch of a joint venture with Google.org showcasing a ground-breaking tool for monitoring water and sanitation provision across the globe.
World Water Week, which expects to attract 2,500 participants from 135 countries, is mostly focused on the not-for-profit sector of water provision and planning but over the years the involvement of the private sector has slowly been increasing with several small entrepreneurial companies trail-blazing the way for increased public-private sector partnerships.