In 1992, the United Nations declared March 22nd to be World Water Day, the first observance being in 1993. The purpose is to celebrate the importance of fresh water for all life and sustainability. It’s also a day to put into action tasks to protect the Earth’s water resources. It’s not just an environmental issue. It also focuses on the health, development and responsibility of the planet’s community.
Each year, the United Nations selects a theme. This year’s theme is “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge.” Often, we hear of water shortages and crises in rural or underdeveloped areas. This year, the United Nations is putting a greater focus on what occurs in our world’s cities. There are many cities, right in the United States, where the water quality is quite poor, where even the wealthiest are informed that they cannot drink the water, like Philadephia, PA and Houston, TX. This often can be attributed to overdevelopment and overpopulation in an urban area which impacts sanitation and sewage.
You also have the problem of those of lower economic statuses not being able to access fresh water, due to poor living conditions, lack of money or being homeless. We need water to live, but if one cannot even gather a few quarters together to get a bottle of Poland Spring, then that’s a serious problem.
With the recent devastation in Japan in the news, the safety of water is even more important. Not to say they are correct to feel this way, but there are many Americans along the west coast who are concerned if radiation has gotten in their drinking water system. There’s been a mad dash to get potassium iodide tablets from the local pharmacies.
This theme comes at the right time. Action definitely needs to be taken, whether it’s by volunteering with The TAP project or contacting your government representative. Water impacts all of us, no matter who we are, where we live or what we do.
For more information on what you can do, visit http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/