FAO today marked World Water Day by highlighting the opportunity that treated wastewater represents for agriculture, and improved food security and nutrition.
Globally, most wastewater is released into the environment without being treated. As a result, in many regions of the world, contaminated water is discharged into rivers and lakes and ends up in oceans. But treated and reused wastewater can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution to water scarcity.
"We need to use water in agriculture in a more efficient, productive, equitable and environmentally friendly way where quality is not compromised," FAO's Deputy-Director General, Maria Helena Semedo, said at a World Water Day ceremony at the UN agency's Rome headquarters. "We should maximize the potential of wastewater as a valuable and sustainable resource."
In his remarks, President of Fiji Jioji Konousi Konrote, said: "There is an urgent need for greater investment and research into the management of wastewater to reduce the life-threatening impacts that wastewater pollution has on our environment. With enough effort there is potential to turn wastewater into a valuable resource."
"The challenges in getting this done vary by country, but many challenges are shared and we need close cooperation between nations to push action on this issue."
The government of Fiji is poised to assume the presidency of the next Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.