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Biodiversity & Environment

World Water Day

  • 22 Mar 2019
  • 4 min read

On March 22 of every year, World observes World Water Day, the theme of which, this year, is “Leaving no one behind”.

  • Conceived in 1993 by the United Nations, this Day advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
  • UN Water created in 2003 is an UN Inter Agency organization that works on water issues and releases thematic report on the theme chosen for World Water Day every year. It has its headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Findings From United Nations World Water Development Report, 2019

  • Approximately 2.1 billion people do not have access to clean and readily available drinking water.
  • 4.3 billion people do not have access to safe sanitation facilities.
  • Half of the world's population with inadequate access to safe drinking water lives in Africa and that only 24 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa has access to safe drinking water.
  • Refugees and internally displaced people "are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, who often face barriers to access to basic water supply and sanitation services.
  • The wealthier generally receive high levels of WASH services at (often very) low cost, whereas the poor pay a much higher price for a service of similar or lesser quality.
  • One in four primary schools have no drinking water service, with pupils using unprotected sources or going thirsty.
  • More than 700 children under five years of age die every day from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.
  • 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.
  • By the year 2050, 45 percent of global gross domestic product and 40 percent of global grain production will be threatened by environmental damage and lack of water resources.
  • Equal access to water for agricultural production, even if only for supplemental watering of crops, can make the difference between farming as a mere means of survival and farming as a reliable source of income.
  • The report underscores that exclusion, discrimination, poverty and inequalities are among the main obstacles to achieving the water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goal 6.
  • The report points out that tailored responses targeting specific groups can help ensure that affordable water supply and sanitation services are available to all.

Indian Stats

Findings from "Beneath the Surface: The State of the World's Water 2019”- Report by non-profit organisation WaterAid:

  • India has a billion people living in water scarce regions during at least one part of the year, and around 600 million in areas of high to extreme water stress.
  • India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24% of the global total.
  • India is the third largest exporter of virtual water ( groundwater that is used to grow export-oriented, water-intensive crops) -12% of the global total.
    For more on ‘ground water crisis’ in India, click here.
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