The world's most valuable resource is being wasted with little global concern, says an internationally-acclaimed speaker at New Zealand's biggest water conference in Rotorua.
Denmark's Torkil Jonch Clausen was the first of about 60 speakers at the three-day conference, which began yesterday at the Energy Events Centre. He said not many people would know that it took 140l of water to produce a cup of coffee, 2000l to produce a cotton T-shirt and 8000l for a pair of leather shoes.
"We do not face a water crisis but a crisis of bad water governance."
The professor closed by urging the hundreds of onlookers to engage a bit more in raising awareness around the idea of increasing production while reducing waste.
The Water New Zealand Annual Conference and Expo includes networking opportunities, educational talks, forums and 165 exhibitors from the water industry.
Today three talks will be held at the Energy Events Centre focusing on issues directly relating to Rotorua's water industry and environment.
These talks are titled Rotorua Waste Water Treatment Plant Sidestream Upgrade Project, Overcoming Rotorua Lakes Ecological Challenges and Scientific, Technical and Implementation Challenges for Restoration of the Rotorua Lakes.
Water New Zealand chief executive Murray Gibb said Rotorua was an ideal city for the huge conference, with just under 1000 people expected to attend.
He said not only was the Energy Events Centre an ideal location for all the talks and exhibitors but there was great access to the centre from motels and hotels around the city.