MEXICO CITY (Kyodo) A U.N. panel chaired by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto unveiled a water sanitation and management plan Friday at the World Water Forum.

“It is high time that we started implementing these actions,” Hashimoto, who chairs the U.N. secretary general’s advisory board on water and sanitation, told a news conference.

The plan focuses on six areas — water operator partnership, water financing, sanitation, monitoring and reporting, integrated water resources management, and water and disasters.

The plan recommends financing mechanisms to build and maintain infrastructure because “water and sanitation infrastructure and service equipment are not free.”

The board recognizes that “the majority of new finance must come from water users themselves” and “inequities in the current user fee systems must be changed,” requiring a mix of tariffs and subsidies between rich and poor people.

Earlier, Crown Prince Naruhito delivered a keynote speech at the forum, proposing to take full account of a traditional way of managing water to find solutions for world water problems.

In his speech, titled “Edo and Water Transportation,” he explained the role that water transportation and water supply played in the development of Edo, which is now Tokyo.

Edo, the de facto capital of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1867), already had a recycling system that was transporting rice, vegetable and lumber from farmland to Edo, and fish, salt and manure from Edo to farmlands.

The crown prince said night soil was especially important for rice fields, and that the system created no waste.

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