World Water Day, 22 March, draws attention to the essential role of water in our lives, the difficulties people face in getting it and solutions to these problems.

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Water is vital. Between 55 and 60 per cent of the adult body is made of it and every living cell needs it to keep functioning. In normal conditions, the human body can only survive three or four days without water. We need water to stay alive, yet there are billions of people all over the world who do not have access to safe drinking water. 

World Water Day

The first World Water Day was celebrated in 1993. It was first proposed at the United Nations (UN) conference on environment and development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and has been celebrated annually on 22 March since then. Every year the UN releases its World Water Development Report on or around this date. Each year has a different theme, looking at things like the role of clean water in the world of work, ways to stop wasting water, finding ways to supply water to underprivileged groups and so on. 

Safe water is a human right

Clean drinking water is fundamental. But it is also vital for sanitation and hygiene. It is estimated that more than 700 children under the age of seven die every day from illnesses linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation. The right to water and sanitation was recognised as a human right by the UN General Assembly in 2010. However, there are still at least 2.1 billion people around the world who live without safe water in their homes. These include rural communities, people who have been displaced due to war and local conflicts and areas where climate change is making water more and more scarce.

The problems facing communities without water

Apart from the obvious health issues, a lack of accessible clean water means that people – often women and children – spend hours every day walking to and from distant water supplies. This means they don't have time to dedicate to work, studies and other domestic duties. The search for water becomes their main occupation. And people who are not able to walk to get their own water are particularly vulnerable.  

For many people, access to water has become increasingly difficult due to increased demand for a finite resource. According to figures released by the UN, around 4 billion people – nearly two-thirds of the world's population – experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. It is believed that by 2030 as many as 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity.

What are the solutions?

There are many charities working on creating sustainable supplies of clean water at a grass-roots level for different communities around the world, and this important work needs to continue and to expand. But the fundamental problem of increasing demand for a limited resource can only be addressed by more efficient use of water, especially in industry and agriculture. Waste-water recycling, capturing rainwater, more efficient irrigation techniques and reforestation are all examples of how water can be used more efficiently.

What we can do to help

As individuals, what we can do to help is support charities, raise awareness, take part in the World Water Day events that are happening all around the world and, of course, be careful with how we use water in our own lives. Visit the UN World Water Day website to find out about an event near you. Follow #worldwaterday on social media and help spread the word about this incredibly important issue.

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Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Most of the water is wasting in agriculture and industry. unfrotunately my country don't care about that. People still use traditonal agricultural devices which is waste water and industries are the same.
Moreover many people in my country waste water, some of them wash their yard, their car, the area in front of their house with water. They don't turn off water during showering time or when they bursh their theeth.
On the other side there are people who really care about consuming water and energy, my mother is one of them. She barely use water when she showering, she use minimum water possible when she want to wash dishes or doing other activities involving use of water.
people should be aware of right way of conuming water and energy, They should know what happen to them if they waste water, the best way is teaching people from school or even before that. if people taught how to use water from childhood they won't waste water when they grow up. To teach grown up people we should make programs on TV, radio, newspapers which repeat the right way of consuming and alerting all the time what happen if they overuse water. another way is punishing people who use water over the normal rate.
But what we should do to prevent wasting water in industry and agriculture? I think goverments should really care about that, They should help out farmers with large amount loans to change their traditional agriculthure method, help them set up modern farms with modern devices. They also observe industries help them find a way to decrease waste of water.

Hi
It is very good information about tomorrow. I understood 22nd March is world water day. Water is vital, and it is fundamental for our lives. Nowadays my village weather condition is bad, above 40 'o Celsius temperature and water level in the well is very down. What we can do for this situation, that we have to prepare for next year, at the time of winter season we had got raining and our river had been filled and this water flow to the sea, at winter season we should regulate our water level in the river. We should Plant many more trees to keep in soil.
Thanks and Best Regards.

Please note, above sentences are or if there is any mistakes please correct me.
Thanks,