World Water Day

World Water Day is observed annually on 22 March. It was founded in 1993 after the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March as World Day for Water. It was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Observance began in 1993 and has grown significantly ever since; for the general public to show support, it is encouraged for the public to not use their taps throughout the whole day, the day has become a popular Facebook trend.

The UN and its member nations devote this day to implementing UN recommendations and promoting concrete activities within their countries regarding the world’s water resources. Each year, one of various UN agencies involved in water issues takes the lead in promoting and coordinating international activities for World Water Day. Since its inception in 2003, UN-Water has been responsible for selecting the theme, messages and lead UN agency for the World Day for Water.

In addition to the UN member states, a number of NGOs promoting clean water and sustainable aquatic habitats have used World Day for Water as a time to focus public attention on the critical water issues of our era. Every three years since 1997, for instance, the World Water Council has drawn thousands to participate in its World Water Forum during the week of World Day for Water. Participating agencies and NGOs have highlighted issues such as a billion people being without access to safe water for drinking and the role of gender in family access to safe water. In 2003, 2006 and 2009, the UN World Water Development Report was launched on the occasion of the World Water Day.

The anual events for World Water Day are Coordinated by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), with the assistance of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Water section. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The communication and visual identity campaign is by FAO WATER, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Water section,the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

UN-Water dedicated World Water Day 2010 to the theme of water quality, reflecting its importance alongside quantity of the resource in water management. In time of war the access to clean water is frequently restricted because water supply or purification systems have been destroyed, because water reserves are located in areas that have become dangerous or because of massive displacement. People ultimately resort to sources of water with a high health risk and many people contract water-borne diseases. So the ICRC called on governments to ensure safe water and decent sanitation for civilians in conflict zones. In many conflicts, disease kills more civilians than bullets. 2007′s theme highlighted the increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources, both at international and local levels.

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