World Water Day (22 March)
Today is World Water Day.
This year (2010) the theme is Clean Water for a Healthy World – something which we all want to see.
But it’s worrying that even now, when our awareness of environmental issues is so much more acute than it was, the United Nations feels the need to emphasise this basic requirement.
To borrow from the World Water Day website:
Every year, 1,500 cubic kilometres of wastewater are produced globally. While waste and wastewater can be reused productively for energy and irrigation, it usually is not. In developing countries 80 percent of all waste is being discharged untreated, because of lack of regulations and resources. And population and industrial growth add new sources of pollution and increased demand for clean water to the equation. Human and environmental health, drinking and agricultural water supplies for the present and future are at stake, still water pollution rarely warrants mention as a pressing issue.
So what can we in the western world do about this, other than ask our governments to attend to leaking pipes, sun-parched land and flooding plains?
Obviously, we can try to conserve our water – attend to our own leaking taps, save that waste water for the garden and so forth. There’s even going to be a conference today in Scotland on how that nation uses one of its own main rivers.
But we can also help those in other places whose need for water is so much more pressingly immediate than anything we will normally experience. There are several organisations which help to get clean water to those who really, really need it.