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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Water is Precious: Raise Awareness - World Water Day

All human beings have the right to access to and to safe and clean water. Yesterday, 22 March, marked World Water Day, held annually as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. And this is definitely much needed attention.

 "The sheer scale of dirty water means more people now die from contaminated and polluted water than from all forms of violence including waters," said the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Moreover, the two million tons of waste, which contaminates over two billion tons of water daily, has left huge "dead zones" that choke coral reefs and fish.

"Day after day, we pour millions of tons of untreated sewage and industrial and agricultural waste into the world's water systems. Clean water has become scarce and will become even scarcer with the onset of climate change" said Secretary Ban Ki-moon in his message for the day, which this year focuses on "Clean Water for a Healthy World" as its theme. In his message, Mr. Ban stressed that water is vitally linked to all UN development goals, including maternal and child health and life expectancy, women's empowerment, food security, sustainable development and climate change adaptation and migration. As such, the General Assembly recognized 2005-2015 as the International Decade for Action "Water for Life". 

Read UNEP's "Sick Water" for World Water Day and Clearing the Waters: A focus on Water Quality Solutions, a publication which found that repairing key water and sewage networks can not only secure water supplies, but also lower pollution and boost employment.

Access to clean water and adequate sanitation are an inalienable human right. Moreover, they are a prerequisite for lifting people out of poverty. 

Water is taken for granted. Please be aware of the water you use and the water you might be wasting. Water is precious!


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