After 40 years, the United Nations are currently holding their second ever conference on water in New York, to which Luxembourg's Environment Minister Joëlle Welfring has travelled as a speaker.

During the conference, which takes place from 22-24 March, UN secretary-general António Guterres stressed that access to water is a basic human right. However, one in four people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water.

The report released earlier this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that extreme weather phenomena, such as droughts or floods, will likely increase in frequency and intensity. Guterres therefore underlined the importance of ensuring that potential conflicts over water are prevented.

Luxembourg was represented in New York by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Joëlle Welfring, who also addressed the United Nations.

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Drinking water in Luxembourg

Luxembourg uses about 120 million litres of water on a daily basis. 60% are used by private households, 23% by industrial actors, 8% by agriculture, and about as much is lost due to leaky pipes. A single person can average between 100 and 120 litres every day.

50% of Luxembourg's drinking water comes from underground sources, the other half from the barrier lake. There are about 450 water towers in the Grand Duchy and 4,600 kilometres of pipes.

According to Brigitte Lambert, who is in charge of the drinking water division at the Water Management Authority, Luxembourg's underground water is at a stable level at the moment. Nevertheless, caution is needed as even nearby France has already experienced regional deficiencies at times.

In recent years, the idea of gaining potable water from the Moselle river has also increased in popularity. Minister Welfring sees it as one of the most "interesting" alternatives should additional sources be needed.

Video report in Luxembourgish

Drénkwaasser zu Lëtzebuerg: Schützen, spueren, nei Ressourcen erschléissen
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