A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
WORLD WATER DAY 2011
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” - Thomas Fuller
Water: Essential for life, indispensable nutrient, great solvent, excellent cleanser! Our bodies are about 70% water and 71% of our planet’s surface is covered by water. However, only 3% of this water is fresh water and even less is safe for human consumption. We can live many weeks without food, but without water we die within a day or two depending on our environment…
International World Water Day is held annually on 22nd March as a means of reminding people of the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of fresh water resources. An international day to celebrate fresh water was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of fresh water.
This year’s theme, Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge, aims to spotlight and encourage governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to actively engage in addressing the challenges of urban water management. This is the first time in human history that most of the world’s population live in cities: 3.3 billion people, in fact are city dwellers and the urban landscape continues to grow as urbanization becomes more widespread in the very populous developing countries. A significant proportion (38%) of the growth is represented by expanding slums, while the city populations are increasing faster than city infrastructure can adapt.
The objective of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialisation and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems. We expand our cities, our population grows, pollution becomes more widespread, rainfall less reliable and ground water contaminated, while demand for fresh water of good quality increases every day. And even in cities where tap water of excellent quality is to be found (we are fortunate in Melbourne to enjoy this), the amount of bottled water marketed is ridiculously high.
Water is life and without water, there is no living. Water is so essential, that when scientists explore the universe for life out there in the galaxy, they look for signs of water. Over 1 billion people in the world lack sustainable access to fresh water. Safe drinking water and basic sanitation are intrinsic to human survival, well-being and dignity. Cities cannot be sustainable without ensuring reliable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Coping with the growing needs of water and sanitation services within cities is one of the most pressing issues of this century. Sustainable, efficient and equitable management of water in cities has never been as important as in today’s world.
Within two decades, nearly 60% of the world’s people will be urban dwellers. Urban growth is most rapid in the developing world, where cities gain an average of 5 million residents every month. The exploding urban population growth creates unprecedented challenges, among which provision for water and sanitation have been the most pressing and painfully felt when lacking. Next time you turn the tap on and you fill your glass with clean, fresh water that is safe to drink and bathe in, spare a thought for the majority of the people on our planet who cannot do that and many of whom risk dying of thirst and dehydration, or of water-borne diseases.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.