World Water Day: why we need to tackle water poverty



March 22 is World Water Day, an annual event that supports global sustainable water management and raises awareness of the planet’s ever-increasing dependence on clean water. With more mobile phones on Earth than clean toilets, solving the water development dilemma has never been more important.

According to UN statistics at least one in three people don’t have access to a toilet, while 2.5 billion don’t have access to adequate sanitation, leaving millions extremely vulnerable to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

Some 783 million people also lack access to clean water, which results in 6-8m deaths a year from water-related diseases.

In an attempt to solve these developmental threats, political leaders from across the globe will today meet in the Netherlands to discuss water co-operation, as part of World Water Day 2013.

I am proud that the Netherlands has the honour to host World Water Day 2013”, said Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development Co-operation.

Co-operation on water between different actors and sectors will be a main challenge for the next 15 years.

The Netherlands invests in smart solutions and partnerships for water security.”

The meeting, taking place in The Hague, will also mark of the conclusion of the Global Thematic Consultation on Water – an initiative led in tandem by UNICEF and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).

It follows the publication of a new report by water charity WaterAid, called Everyone, everywhere: A vision for water, sanitation and hygiene post-2015.

WaterAid has urged David Cameron to read the report in order to help push water and sanitation goals towards the top of the UN’s agenda, and has set up a suggested message for individuals to use to email their MP.

Earlier today, Blue & Green Tomorrow reported on calls from sustainable investment house Impax Asset Management, which highlighted the high growth, long-term investment potential of tackling water challenges.

Further reading:

World Water Day: long-term opportunities in investing in water

WaterAid urges governments to ‘invest in access to sanitation and water’

Investment in water is a ‘first necessity’

Safe drinking water goal achieved, but not in most deprived areas

Water efficiency could provide 3.7m jobs by 2020


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