United Nations Environmental Programme
Access to Water
Republic of Finland
Forest Hills Eastern High School
Clean drinking water was recognized as a human right by the United Nations in 2010. This right is not only important in a sense of citizens having access to clean drinking water, but also keeping water sources clean for future access. As the most water-rich country and number one country in availability of water quality data, Finland believes all countries should have access to clean water sources. Clean water can be the key to economic success and growth of a country. According to data from 2016, 100% of Finnish citizens have access to clean water, so our goal is to sustain clean water habits and reduce water pollution. With access to clean water, a population can be healthy and successful.
Inland waters make up 10% of Finland’s total area with rivers, ponds, and lakes. Finland has passed laws to meet water quality targets in 2015 by reducing eutrophication and pollution, and protecting and restoring groundwater. Eutrophication is Finland’s largest water problem, caused by an excess of nutrients from agricultural discharges. Finland aims to reduce agricultural emissions, preferably at the will of farmers, to decrease eutrophication. Clean wastewater is another factor in reducing eutrophication, so wastewater technology like dry-composting toilets can help reduce nutrient emissions. Protection of groundwater is another priority of Finland’s. Groundwater pollution is prohibited and any polluting parties are responsible for remediating polluted groundwater. Permits are also required if one is extracting more than 250 cubic metres per day. The Finnish Water Forum is a joint network of private and public water sectors created to solve global water problems, including transboundary waters, with Finnish water expertise.
Finland recommends that the committee take similar measures as Finland has taken. Groundwater protection should be a priority, since it is such a valuable water resource. Legislation should be put in place to stop the pollution of groundwater, as well as other bodies of water. Reducing eutrophication should also be discussed, especially by reducing agricultural emissions. Countries with shared water borders should be encouraged to have common legislation sharing access and prohibiting pollution to promote global cooperation. Clean-water technology, like dry-composting toilets, should also be utilized to ensure a lack of wastewater pollution. Finland hopes the committee can work together to create international cooperation and provide clean water for all.
- Jill Pierangeli