(New York, 26 February 2013) – Marking the critical importance of water stewardship around the world and its relation to the United Nation’s process to define post-2015 development priorities, the CEO Water Mandate will convene a major conference in Mumbai, India. Global and domestic companies, government agencies, civil society groups, academia and the UN will gather to explore complex corporate water management issues and seek to advance effective and equitable solutions.

The discussions in Mumbai will be significant as the world heads towards the post-2015 era, when stresses on planetary boundaries and natural resources are fully tested. The UN has begun a process to develop global Sustainable Development Goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015. In this regard, the UN Global Compact has been assigned the position to relay to the UN Secretary-General and other UN processes the outputs of the CEO Water Mandate’s Mumbai conference that are especially relevant to the post-2015 agenda.

In particular, the Conference on Corporate Water Stewardship and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Drawing from the India Experience will examine the three sub-topics of the UN’s global water thematic consultation: water, sanitation and hygiene; water resources management; and wastewater management and water quality.

While good progress has been made in recent years with respect to access to freshwater sources, the United Nations nonetheless predicts that in 2025 nearly two-thirds of humanity could be living in water-stressed regions – as a result of factors including population growth, industrialization and urbanization, and climate change. In addition, progress on sanitation has been slow and the decline in childhood deaths has fallen short of the two-thirds target. In this context, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will utilize the conference to engage the private sector and other entities in consultations on water management and its effects on children in India and around the world.

“This meeting comes at a critical point in the water stewardship movement, as business increasingly recognizes that it has both commercial and ethical reasons to act to help achieve global and local water security,” said Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact and Head, CEO Water Mandate. “Lessons emerging from India’s water and sanitation crisis will help funnel new innovations that the rest of the world can employ as we embark on a post-2015 development agenda.”

For more information about the conference to take place on 5 March, please visit http://ceowatermandate.org/working-conferences.