The talk attempts to overview the current global perspective on water resources with a view towards identifying major likely future challenges along with an outline of potential opportunities for solutions. There is a growing consensus in international environmental politics that water is going to be one of the main issues of the 21st century. Given the projected demands for water, the likely impact of population changes and of climate variability and change, the present water use practices are clearly not sustainable. This situation calls for dramatically different water management practices at all scales. Supplying water to rapidly expanding population centres is a huge challenge already. Transboundary river basins and aquifers, where 40% of humanity lives, carry a great deal of conflict potential. Probable increase in the frequency of extreme events such as floods and droughts will have major impacts. New adaptation measures are to be implemented as a matter of urgency. Significantly improved capacities (with respect to data management, assessment, research, education) are needed.
András Szöllősi-Nagy is currently the Chair of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Program. He is the member of the World Academy of Sciences and Arts, Governor of the World Water Council, serves as GEF STAP member, a Fellow of iASK (Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg) and is Professor of Sustainable Water Management at NUPS, Budapest.