United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

UNIDO

Distinguished Chairperson
Excellencies
Distinguished Delegates
On behalf of UNIDO I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of the Organization?s contributions to the implementation of the recommendations emanating from CSD 13 on water and sanitation.
As delegates are aware, UNIDO?s mandate is to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to develop their industrial sectors in a sustainable manner. However, as countries develop their industrial base, the levels of water consumed by the industrial sector tends to increase, as can the amounts and toxicity of the effluents discharged into bodies of water. While around 22% of the world?s fresh water withdrawals is currently used by industry, this percentage ranges from around 10% in low and middle-income countries to approaching 60% in high-income countries. It is estimated that the annual water volume used by industry will increase by around 50% between 1995 and 2025. In addition, it is estimated that in some developing countries as much as 70% of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute potential fresh water supplies. It is therefore crucial that industrial development is managed in a way that that does not increase the pressure on a nation?s water resources.
UNIDO has been particularly active in work related to enhancing water use efficiency, managing competing uses and in reducing the discharge of industrial wastes into water supplies. I would like to briefly mention three elements of UNIDO?s work of particular relevance for the discussions at this session.
Firstly, I would like to highlight the key role that National Cleaner Production Centres, including those supported by UNIDO, can play in reducing water use and discharges by industry. Such Centres assist enterprises to identify cost effective means to reduce their water use and discharges, including through the optimisation of existing equipment or by the purchase of more efficient equipment. As an example, a recent project carried out by our NCPC in the Lebanon with a company called SOLICAR resulted in annual cost savings of $75,000 from an investment of $27,000 ? while decreasing water use by over 30%. Such initiatives can contribute considerably to the competitiveness of enterprises as well as environmental objectives.
A second area of relevance is UNIDO?s programme on the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (TEST). The objective of this programme is to assist governments and productive sectors to increase water productivity by means of reducing water withdrawals and increasing water reuse and recycling, and to minimize water and pollution discharges through the application of the UNIDO?s TEST methodology. The methodology has been successfully applied in the Danube and Dnieper Basins and UNIDO is also working to apply it in Mediterranean Region, as a co-operating Agency with UNEP, within the framework of a GEF funded programme entitled ?Transfer of Environmental Sound Technology in the Southern Mediterranean Region?.
Finally, I would like to briefly mention the outcome of the Technology Foresight Summit held in Budapest, Hungary in September 2007 on the theme of ?Water Productivity in Industry?. This Summit examined how technology foresight could be used as a tool for decision-making and consensus building to enhance innovation and competitiveness in countries in transition, in particular in the water sector. The Summit adopted a Joint Ministerial Statement on ?Towards Zero Discharge of Industrial Pollutants Present in Wastewater? which urged the industrial sector to apply adequate technologies to save water in production, reduce water pollution, adopt adequate waste water treatment technologies and optimise water re-use and recycling. UNIDO has been requested to assist the countries in the region to support the ?zero discharge? initiative.
Delegates may recall that a key message in the ?Water and Industry? section of the 2006 World Water Development Report is that it is possible to decouple industrial development from environmental degradation, to radically reduce natural resource and energy consumption and, at the same time, to have clean and profitable industries. UNIDO believes that sessions such as the current review of the implementation of the decisions of CSD 13 can help to keep us on track to achieving these aims.
I thank you for your attention.