The World Economic Forum in Davos has announced the formation of a new Global Commission on the Economics of Water.
The Commission’s goal will be to study and provide advice on water management as climate change and deforestation continue to have a negative impact on the levels of available clean water throughout the world.
The group will be composed of 17 specialists: economists, scientists, community leaders and policymakers and may be pushing for an agreement to put a price on freshwater resources just as there is one for carbon emissions today.
Co-chair Johan Rockstroem said: “"For centuries we've been able to consider freshwater a free resource.”
As extreme phenomena multiply all over the global, frequent episodes of drought and floods make the management of water an increasingly difficult task. Predictions point to these extremes being more frequent and the panel will offer governance advice on water management issues to tackle those phenomena.
Another aspect that is being considered is paying countries with large areas of rainforest to protect it in an effort to stabilise rainfall levels.
In a press release, the Commission said: “Improving how water is managed globally is critical to mitigating the climate crisis and averting growing social and economic disorder, mass migration and conflicts. Yet, water is almost totally absent from the global policy stage."