Tuesday, March 22, 2016

UN – World Water Day – March 22, 2016

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

World Water Day was first decreed by the UN in 1992, and the first World Water Day was celebrated in 1993.

Since then, each March 22, the world celebrates World Water Day with a related theme. This year, the theme is Water & Jobs. Indeed, if everyone knows that water is life, and that sustainable development is linked to the availability of water, today it is the connection between water and jobs that is highlighted.

Nearly half of the world’s workers (1.5 billion) work in water-related sectors, and all jobs on earth are connected to water and its safe delivery. The celebration today also highlights the unpaid and un-recognized work of women who spend hours each day fetching water for their families in places where there is no available water distribution system. An activity, which, alternatively prevents those women from going to school, acquiring training, or engaging in paid activity on behalf of their families and for economic growth. Women and children thus remain a “disproportionately large fraction’ of the bottom billion living on less than $1.25/day. [UN-Water-Stats]

Consequently, the call for more safe water and better management of its distribution is also a call for better jobs, better health, sustainable development, and better lives.

A few more UN-Water stats
  • How the world uses freshwater: • about 70 percent for irrigation • about 20 percent for industry • about 10 percent for domestic use.
  • Most population growth will occur in regions already experiencing water stress.
  • Water scarcity already affects more than 40 percent of the people on the planet.
  • The volume of freshwater resources on Earth is around 35 million km3.
  • In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial waste is dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.
  • Every day, 2 million tons of human waste are disposed of in water courses.
  • Over 80% of wastewater is not collected or treated worldwide.
  • Every second, the urban population grows by 2 people.
  • 827.6 million people live in slums, often lacking adequate drinking water and sanitation services
  • Access to improved sources for drinking water in the urban areas of the developing world increased only by 2% between 1990 and 2011.
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation.
  • 768 million people do not use an improved source of drinking-water and 2.5 billion people do not use improved sanitation as of 2011.
  • A person needs 20-50 litres of water a day for basic needs. 

UN- World Water Day
UN-Water Statistics
UN-Water – Water indicators portal
UN-Water – Thematic fact sheets

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