Water: It's time to save our most vital resource
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What are the first things that come to mind when you hear the word 'Mediterranean'? The sun? The beaches? The beautiful landscape? The culture and history? The wine? It is certainly true that the Mediterranean is a rich region full of these resources (and more!). The area covers 22 countries, 46,000 km of coastline, three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe and hosts a population of 480 million people (EEA. 2015). However, the region faces considerable challenges due to climate change and the increasing rate of water scarcity and the depletion of natural resources, all of which pose a threat to the agriculture, tourism and industrial sectors among others. In order to tackle this, various actors, including youth, are confronting these challenges head-on at the regional, national and local levels.
One of these initiatives is MedYWater, a community of young water professionals and academics motivated by the call to act in their societies to tackle water-related issues all over the Mediterranean. The community was born following the Mediterranean Water Heroes Youth Contest in 2017, a yearly event organized by the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) to offer young water activists, from all around the Mediterranean, the opportunity to showcase their innovative work on wastewater and the circular economy. Today, MedYWater is building the foundations to mobilize more youth from the region, within the umbrella of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, to collaborate and innovate for a more sustainable Mediterranean.
The main objectives of MedYWater are: to involve young people in developing solutions for water challenges; to share information and innovative projects that promote efficient water management and to exchange global examples of water management best practices; to establish collaboration with other institutions and networks such as CMI Water Hub, Global Water Partnership Mediterranean and the World Youth Parliament for Water; as well as to raise awareness within societies across the Mediterranean region.
The MedYWater network is led by youth from the Mediterraean and facilitated by CMI by using different tools such as Collaboration4Development (C4D). A LinkedIn group has also been set up to offer another option for young water professionals to work together. If you are working (or interested) in the sector, don't hesitate to join too, because if NOW is not the time for us to come together to save our most vital resource, then when is?