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Water Challenge - a blog by Peter Brabeck-Letmathe


I hope this blog will create discussion about the important issue of water use and availability around the world.

Your comments and views are very important and I encourage you to help me build and develop the conversation.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe

Chairman Nestlé SA

Lester Brown on water for food

With Lester Brown, at the World Economic Forum, Davos, 2006

Today, Lester Brown celebrates his 80th birthday. As the founder of the independent Worldwatch Institute, which he set up in 1974, Lester is one of the pioneers of the environmental movement, but one who never lost sight of human needs.

According to Lester, "the biggest threat to global stability is the potential for food crises in poor countries." This quote is from his article “Could food shortages bring down civilisation?” published in 2009 in the Scientific American.

For years now, Lester has been recognised as one of the most influential thinkers about – and beyond – sustainability; you can find an overview on some of the awards and prizes he has received for his outstanding work in his biography.

World Water Day 2014: : UN-Water Best Practices Award for Public Utilities Board of Singapore (PUB)

Tasting Singapore’s ‘NEWater’

Some of the best news from this year’s World Water Day was the announcement of the UN-Water Best Practices Award for PUB Singapore, the city-state’s national water agency.

What is so special about Singapore’s water supply? Some months ago, after publishing a book on the topic, Cecilia Tortajada, President of the Third World Centre for Water Management in Mexico was kind enough to write a guest post about PUB for my blog.

Below are a few facts to tell you more about this highly successful organisation.

Water and energy: ten telling facts

The theme of this year’s World Water Day, on March 22, is ‘water and energy’, an important subject I feel deserves more attention, and one that readers of this blog will know I often write about.

As I’ve written previously, the complex connections between food, water and energy are unavoidably real and impossible to ignore. Here are ten reasons why:

CNBC interview: risks from surging demand

An interview I gave to CNBC at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos is now available to watch here.

I talked to presenter Hadley Gamble about the future for water sustainability, and the risks posed by the rising global demand for energy and food.

Seawater desalination – a solution to reduce water shortage?

Desalination has become an important tool for effective water management. It can be seen as one solution to overcome rapid shortage in municipal water supply. But as I’ve stressed before, there is no single silver bullet to address the water issue overall. Desalination actually requires large amounts of energy and can be expensive.

In this blog post, I want to provide some insight and ideas on whether desalination can become a significant lever to combat water scarcity. It will not offer a complete answer but I do hope that the discussion generated here will provide a more comprehensive picture on this highly topical subject.