March 22, 2013 is World Water Day. Julian Omidi discusses the awareness that is provided through the day and what cooperation can do to help provide water to those in need.

The Unied Nations is using World Water Day 2013 to highlight water cooperation. With water being one of the most basic and essential human needs, access for all of the people of the world to clean water is crucial in helping to eliminate poverty and improve health.

Lack of access to water can be an issue that directly correlates to poverty, but it can also be a purely geographic issue with uneven distribution of clean, fresh water through various areas of the world, making cooperation across countries imperative.

Not only is the increased demand for fresh water (more than 7 billion people globally require clean and fresh water), but in many nations political and social unrest can also affect water access. Climate change to is also having an affect on the supply of clean water around the world and all of these factors contribute to the 783 million individuals that lack access to safe water. Not only are there three-quarters of a billion people who lack a basic human need, but roughly 2.59 billion people (37% of the world's population) have no access to sanitation, resulting in disease and death for many in developing nations.

Other problems directly related to water include:
  • Women and children spend 40 billion hours each year collecting water. Imagine what these women and children could accomplish in their lives if these hours could be spent in school or as part of the workforce.[1]
  • Scarcity of water contributes to major food shortages.
  • Water-related illnesses, specifically diarrhea, accounts for 3,000 deaths every day in children under the age of 5. In 2002 the United States saw roughly 1,500 deaths as a result of diarrhea, while in India the same year roughly 456,400 diarrheal deaths occurred, a huge discrepancy. [2]
There are several charities that work to provide assistance in the provision of clean water including:
To learn more about World Water Day 2013 and the goal to encourage water cooperation, view the message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon below.

By Julian Omidi

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/22/world-water-day-2013-facts_n_2927389.html?utm_hp_ref=impact
[2] http://rankingamerica.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/the-us-ranks-72nd-in-death-by-diarrhea/


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