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World Water Day

 

THE WATERFALL              


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Why World Water Day Matters To Me, and To You
          

Corinne Hickey, Co-Founder of friendsofwater.com. 

I cried this morning while taking a shower. It came on unexpectedly on a sunny spring morning in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of North America. Slowly I was saddened and then the tears came, strangely mixed with my bio-degradable soap. This was not the typical cry over a small personal problem. I cried for the 3000 human beings who would die today from diarrhoeal diseases (including cholera); 90% of them children under 5. I cried for their parents who are amongst 2.6 billion (42% of the world population) who lack access to basic sanitation. I wept for the 1.1 billion people who lack access to improved water sources (tap water in the house or yard from public distribution systems, protected wells and springs, public stand posts, rain water collection), who represent 17% of the global population. In wet grief I turned off my shower of clean, uncontaminated filtered water. I said a prayer of gratitude for the water I celebrate in my life, and asked that all of the world community have pure and accessible water forever and forever.

In many parts of the world, such as Europe and North America, people take it for granted to turn on a tap for safe and clean water to drink, to cook, to wash – yet, more than 1 billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to use potentially harmful sources of water. Each year, March 22 – World Water Day – marks a permanent effort to promote access to safe drinking-water and sanitation. It is a springboard for me and you to raise awareness about water, to stimulate debate and focus on the dangers that derive from inadequate access to safe water and basic sanitation. It also is an opportunity for us to consciously reflect on our own water consumption, conservation, and purification. Water is the world’s resource, not mine or yours. What I do with water in the Pacific Northwest effects others’ worldwide. If I conserve and purify my tap water then more water will return back into the larger ecosystem, becoming rain and snow and again returning to earth.

'Coping with Water Scarcity' is the theme for World Water Day 2007. It is a theme you and I need to take seriously. Although sub-Saharan drought may seem distant to us where we live, it is right around the corner in every sense. Many of our subscribers to The Waterfall live in countries around the world; some work for environmental agencies. You know first hand the reality of our dwindling water supplies. We also know that each of us can take action every day to conserve and purify our water.

 This year's (2007) World Water Day theme highlights the increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources, both at international and local levels. Equity and rights, cultural and ethical issues are essential to be addressed when dealing with limited water resources. Imbalances between availability and demand, the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality, intersectoral competition, interregional and international disputes, all center around the question of how to cope with scarce water resources. (1) 


The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the 10-year period of 2005–2015 as the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015, starting on 22 March, World Water Day 2005. The Water for Life Decade gives the world’s goals a greater focus on water-related issues, while striving to ensure the participation of women in water-related development efforts, and further cooperation at all levels. The Decade offers an opportunity for revitalizing political commitment, but it also provides a unique chance to launch a provocative worldwide advocacy effort to catalyse greater public participation in the Water For Life global campaign.

 

                              Celebrating World Water Day

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It is worthwhile to reflect on the following questions:

 

How many people know that, in 2002:

 

¦    1.1 billion people lacked access to improved water sources (tap water in the house or yard from public distribution systems, protected wells and springs, public stand posts, (rain water collection), which represented 17% of the global population.

¦    2.6 billion (42% of the world population) lacked access to basic sanitation.

¦    Of the 1.1 billion without access to improved water sources, nearly two thirds live in Asia .

¦    1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases (including cholera); 90% are children under 5, mostly in developing countries.

¦    80% of the population without access to drinking-water were rural dwellers, but future population growth will be mainly urban.

 

Based on current and emerging priorities, the overall objectives of the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015 (which include the campaign elements/messages of World Water Day 2005) are:

 

¦    to infuse a sense of urgency and ensure acceleration of effort by all stakeholders in order to meet the 2015 MDG water and sanitation targets;

¦    to promote greater awareness of the broader picture of how Integrated Water Resources Development and Management critically underpins the efforts to achieve all of the MDSs, not only Target 10;

¦    To catalyze and scale up the participation of civil society towards building greater societal commitment for the Water for Life effort.

 

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Useful web sites

 

International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015: http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade

 

World Water Day: http://www.worldwaterday.org/

 

International Water and Sanitation Center (IRC): http://www.irc.nl/

 

Ideas for Water Awareness Campaigns (ISDR, UNEP, UN):

http://www.collinsassoc.ca/water/contents.htm

 

Water, Sanitation and Health web site at WHO: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/en ; http://www.earthprint.com: http://un-water.net

 

Water and Sanitation Program (World Bank): http://www.wsp.org

 

Household water network: www.who.int/household_water


Water associations worldwide     
http://www.collinsassoc.ca/water/resources.htm

 

International Water Association (IWA): http://www.iwahq.org.uk/

 

Australian Water Association (AWA): http://www.awwa.asn.au/

 

American Water Works Association (AWWA). http://www.awwa.org/

 

Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM):  http://www.ciwem.org.uk/

 

European Water Association (EWA): http://www.ewaonline.de/

 

New Zealand Water and Wastes Association (NZWWA): email at water@nzwwa.org.nz

 

Water Environment Federation (WEF): www.wef.org

 

 

source material from United Nations website

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World Day for Water
from Wikipedia

World Day for Water, or unofficially World Water Day, occurs each year on March 22, as designated by United Nations General Assembly notification. This day was first formally proposed in the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Since then observance has grown significantly.

              world water day, world water day links, world water day activities, UN water for life, save water

The UN invited its member nations to devote this day to implementing UN recommendations and promoting concrete activities within their countries. Each year, one of various UN agencies involved in water issues takes the lead in promoting and coordinating international activities for World Day for Water, World Day for Water 2005 marked the start of the second 'UN International Decade for Action for Water', also referred to as the Water for Life Decade 2005-2015. In 2006, World Day for Water was coordinated by UNESCO with the theme: 'Water and Culture'. In 2007, the theme is 'Coping with Water Scarcity'.

In addition to the UN member states, a number of NGO's promoting clean water and sustainable aquatic habitats have used World Day for Water as a time to focus public attention on the critical water issues of our era. Every three years since 1997, for instance, the World Water Countil has drawn thousands to participate in its World Water Forum during the week of World Day for Water. Participating agencies and NGO's have highlighted issues such as a billion people being without access to safe water for drinking and the role of gender in family access to safe water.

             world water day, world water day links, world water day activities, UN water for life, save water

World Water Day Information and related links:

http://www.un.org

http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/

http://www.waterconserve.info    The leading site for education, links, and taking action!

http://www.worldwaterday.net    Join a Walk for Water in one of 19 cities on March 24, 2007.

http://www.climateark.org

http://www.ecologicalinternet.org   Ecological Internet, Inc. specializes in the use of the Internet to achieve environmental conservation outcomes.

 

World Running Out of Water

from www.waterconserve.info


The world is running out of potable water and a major policy initiative to guarantee freshwater as a human right is required. In a most interesting article from the Guardian, Jeffery Sachs of the UN's Millennium Project notes the world simply has "no more rivers to take water from". And the near total lack of basic water policy for the future is noted, such as how are aquifers to be recharged and how to sustain ground water use? For some time I have thought that a major water shortage crisis that ravishes millions may, even more so than climate change (though it may be the cause), galvanize the world to realize the extent to which the global biosphere teeters upon the edge of ruin. Then we may see the surge of personal lifestyle changes and policy prescriptions from governments and businesses adequate to achieve global ecological sustainability. The article notes that not only are
China 's and India 's water supplies threatened but their food production as well. These "economic miracles" have largely been built upon the back of unsustainable water and other resource use - a deck of cards waiting to fall. In closing Sachs is quoted as making a point I have harked on for years, that "for the first time humans were shaping the environment rather than nature". Where does your water come from? What happens if it runs dry? What will you do, where will you go?

 

 

Water for All Always

from www.ecologicalinternet.org

The provision of clean, dependable sources of drinking water is a requirement for organic life. Water is truly the elixir of life. Yet humanity continues to treat natural hydrological systems as dumping grounds for our industrial and other waste. Given the potential for water scarcity to cause grave social and environmental disruptions, Ecological Internet promotes the strict protection and restoration of all natural waterways and wetlands. There must be a complete prohibition upon dumping wastes into lakes, rivers and groundwater. Wide vegetational buffers must be established along all waterways and wetlands. There must be no loss of natural wetlands and they must be restored where they historically occurred. As the foundation of a just, equitable and sustainable society; access to water must be enshrined as a global human right. The Water Conserve web site promotes these and other policies, and the Forests.org and Climate Ark web sites are also interested in terrestrial ecosystems' and the atmosphere's role in water cycling.

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