World Bank water expert Jennifer Sara stressed that innovation was vital for a water scarce world

If water stops running, life stops working

Stockholm, Sweden, August 29, 2019 –– Global water issues of access and pollution were spotlighted together with sustainable solutions at a business luncheon celebrating World Water Week attended by over 150 movers and shakers in the Swedish business community.

Arranged and co-hosted by Bluewater, a world leader in water technology and solutions, and Nordea, the leading banking institution in the Nordic marketplace, attendees heard from some of the world’s foremost water experts with keynote speakers including Jennifer Sara, Global Director for the World Bank Group's Water Global Practice, Will Sarni, an internationally recognized thought leader on water strategy and innovation, Dr. Lisa Svenson, Director for Ocean, at the UN Environment, and Mina Guli, a water advocate and ultra-runner recognised as a global leader fighting to avert the world water crises.

Denver-based Will Sarni told the audience that although humankind is absolutely dependent on water as a central resource for its existence, it is infinite and scarce and “we do a dreadful job at managing it”. He stressed the vital need to engage in water use and management innovation through entrepreneur-supporting programs efforts such as the annual Imagine H20 Urban Water Challenge, which this year attracted 226 startups from 38 countries with winning entries from India, the United States and Colombia.

World Bank water expert Jennifer Sara also stressed that innovation was vital for a water scarce world where it is predicted that by 2030 demand for water will exceed availability by 40 percent. “We urgently need to encourage new pathways to help new technologies to go to scale,” Ms. Sara said.

The United Nation’s Dr. Lisa Svensson, provided a detailed insight into the threats posed to the planet’s oceans, marine life and humanity by mounting pollution. “Up to 13 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans every year, which means by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish with one kilo of plastic for every three kilo’s of fish within ten years,” Dr. Svensson said. She added that today “there are more pieces of plastic in our seas than there are stars in our galaxy”.

Water advocate and ultra-runner Mina Guli from Australia explained her depth of shock at how fast the planet’s water reserves are drying up, point to how the South Aral Sea, once the fourth largest lake in the world, but is now largely a dried out wasteland after the rivers feeding it were diverted. Some have described its disappearance as one of the world's largest man-made environmental disasters.

“If the water stops running, life stops working,” Ms. Guli said. She added that the world’s future and our lives depend on having enough clean, safe water and that ‘extraordinary commitment is needed to ensure clean water for all’.

The event was co-hosted and moderated by Anders Jacobson (pictured above, right, with Mina Guli), co-founder and CEO of Blue, the impact led investment company that owns Bluewater, and Felix Nilsson, Sustainability Expert at Nordea Group Sustainable Finance.

For more information, please contact David Noble, Bluewater PR & Communications Director, at or +44 7785 302 694.