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World Water Day – 20th Anniversary of the World’s Fight for a Clean Water Future

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s vote to declare World Water Day.  Its purpose: to draw global attention to the importance of fresh water and the sustainable management of fresh water resources.  Over the years, the celebrations revolved around different issues, including water and women, sanitation, and food security.


Local nonprofits and international NGOs have played a critical role in making safe, potable water available to millions of people in the developing world;  whether by connecting a remote village in the Vietnamese countryside to a local water system, providing access to water to schoolchildren in Guatemala, or by installing water points and latrines in the poor neighborhoods of the Mozambican capital of Maputo.


There are still considerable obstacles to overcome: about 1 out of 10 people on the planet have no access to safe and clean drinking water, while about 2.2 million in the developing world alone die every year from diseases associated with poor water quality.  According to the United Nations World Water Assessment Program, the crucial role of water for economic and social development will put further pressure on this precious resource in the upcoming decades, particularly in the Global South.


The year 2013 has been proclaimed the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, so the World Water Day this year will also center on water cooperation.  The UN is planning to highlight some successful cooperation initiatives, foster discussion on international water management and financing, as well as touch on the place of water in the context of the Millennium Development Goals.  The international celebrations are spread across the entire year, but will culminate with an international event in The Hague hosted by the Dutch Government on March 22.


High-profile conferences on the international level are not the only events to celebrate the Day.  Hundreds of NGOs are working on the ground for a world in which anyone can enjoy a glass of clean, fresh water.  Please check our media gallery to learn more about the campaigns of non profits driven by this mission.