World Water Day Emphasizes Global Need for Safe Water
March 22, 2006 -- More than 1 billion people worldwide lack access to clean water, according to a recent report compiled by 24 U.N. agencies. Because of contact with unsafe water, approximately 25,000 deaths occur each day, nearly half of which could be avoided by providing safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.
The theme of this year's World Water Day is “water and culture.” Organized by UNESCO, activities around World Water Day 2006 will highlight the many ways different cultures use, value, and celebrate water.
The United Nations declared 2005-2015 an "International Decade for Action" with the goal of reducing by half the number of people without sustainable fresh water and basic sanitation. To achieve this goal by the end of the decade, the United Nations will promote teaching sanitation in schools and implement community water management programs. Steps also will be taken to ensure the poor receive an equal share of all newly generated sustainable water resources.
The Water Information Center, a Web site created by the National Academies, provides free access to more than 100 peer-reviewed reports on water-related issues and support to all who are working to create a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable world.