Water Day History
The observance of International World Water Day (WWD)
was an initiative of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
(UNCED) that was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event was first observed in
1993. On July 28, 2010, the UN General Assembly declared access to clean
drinking water and sanitation as a human right. International law and
some national constitutions similarly regard access to safe and sufficient water as a human right.
Unrestrained exploitation of groundwater, global warming and climate change, less rainfall and environmental pollution are the
major causes of water crisis worldwide. As per the recent World Bank Report the water level in India has been going down consistently.
A total of 880 million people around the globe do not have access to clean
water, while 2.7 billion lack proper sanitation facilities, the Red Cross said
on March 22, 2010. Climate change, rapid unplanned. urbanisation and migration are increasingly
having a negative effect on the poorest countries in the world, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
(IFRC) said in Kuala Lumpur. “The time to act is now,” said Jane Edgar, the group's water, sanitation and
hygiene promotion coordinator for South-East Asia. He said “Access to clean water, sanitation and health education should not be all about
luck, depending on where you were born. It is a human right that should be given to everyone, rich or poor,.”
The UN figures indicates that, with a billion plus people worldwide living in areas where water is in short
supply and more than a third of the global population lacking sanitation facilities. The rate is which global water consumption is
rising - more than twice as fast as the rate of population growth. Diminishing water supplies are clearly due to the contamination of
water ways and underground water by untreated sewage and waste water discharge by enterprises and urban drainage system. At this rate,
the World Bank estimates that three billion people will not get any safe drinking water by 2035.
In developing countries, eighty percent of all wastewater is discharged
untreated, often because of lack of proper regulation and resources to
enforce existing laws. This leads to greater illness and lives cut short. According to the
World Health Organization, each year, an estimated four billion people get sick with diarrhea as a result of drinking unsafe water, inadequate
sanitation, and poor hygiene. Nearly two million people die from diarrhea each year, and many of them children under
the age of five, poor, and living in the developing world.
USAID, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation
The United States invests hundreds of millions of dollars every year in
water supply and sanitation around the world. The U. S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, and the Millennium Challenge
Corporation have a number of programs to increase access to clean water
for those in need, and to improve water delivery and irrigation systems.
About 80% of water used daily in homes is discharged as waste water into the sewage system. Apart from the water
used for flushing toilets, a bigger quantity of waste water is generated
from the kitchen, bathroom, and wash-basins that can be possibly re-used, after minor treatment, for gardening and flushing purpose.
It is still not too late to switch alternative technology like low-flush toilets or improved pit latrines,
recycling of water, waste water treatment etc. Water conservation must also be practiced more efficiently in the fields,
using drip irrigation to ensure all the water gets to the crops. Even sewage water could be treated with soda to recycle it and
irrigate crops like cotton while water from domestic uses could irrigate vegetable beds. The planner should consider using
technology to exploit the country's long coastline so that saline water could be made portable.
Rain water harvesting
Rain water harvesting is a simple technique in which the rainwater that falls on the surface or roof top is guided to
borwells or pits to recharge the underground water. Groundwater
recharging process technique has immense potential and now used in diffrent parts of the country
by several institutions, industries, housing complexes and government bodies. Experts
say rainwater harvesting structures should be installed at every crossroad and roadside drains should be present to rejuvenate groundwater.
Apart from rainwater harvesting, there is an urgent need to use recycled water. Recycled water should be supplied to those who
are using more than 50,000 litres of water per day, to new areas and industries.
In the future it will be
water wars as the scarcity of water has inflamed existing conflicts. Nearly four billion people live in countries where there is
serious political tension over lakes and rivers that cross international borders. Current hotspots include India and Bangladesh; the Middle East; and China and its
According to Fred Pearce, author of the book When The Rivers Run Dry, water is one of the defining crises of the 21st
century. "As more and more countries run short of water, the threat of wars over water will grow," he warns..
Recently an award-winning new film, Blue Gold: World Water Wars, gets its Scottish premiere at Strathclyde University. Its publicity material asks: "Past civilisations have
collapsed from poor water management. Can the human race survive?"
Water crisis in India
India's population of more than a billion people is widely expected to
overtake the population of China by the middle of the 21st century. Both countries depend on a handful of major waterways originating in the
Himalayan mountain range. For hundreds of millions of Indians, lack of water is not a question of
geopolitics, but lack of infrastructure for water delivery and purification. India's challenge in delivering basic sanitation and
clean drinking water supplies to the majority of its citizens.