Today, March 22nd is celebrated the World Water Day. The date established by the UN General Assembly on February 21, 1993, has annual themes that are chosen to commemorate this day and raise awareness about the global importance of conscious consumption of the resource.
To celebrate the 20th year of the World Water Day, the chosen theme was “Water Cooperation” in which aims to raise awareness about the importance, benefits and challenges of water cooperation, as increased knowledge, development capacity and innovative ideas, by making the water cooperation a priority in 2013.
Several events worldwide have been conducted this month to present the goals of this year’s theme. An example is the Walk for Water, which began in the Netherlands and is now held in 11 countries. In it, children 10 to 15 years walk six kilometers (3.7 miles) carrying six liters of water in the backpack with the goal of representing children of some developing countries that walk that distance to access clear water.
Water covers 70% of Earth’s surface; 97% being salt water. Only 0.01% of the fresh water is available for use, because the remaining 2% of freshwater is in glaciers, icebergs and deep underground, which makes the consumable water scarce.
Brazil has 12% of world reserves of clear water, the world’s largest river – the Amazon, and the largest groundwater reservoir – the Guarani Aquifer, however, 58% of Brazilian counties do not have distribution system and water treatment.
The daily average consumption of a household is 200 liters per person, with a relevant amount of this water being used for activities that do not require the consumption of fresh water, such as flushing toilets and washing floors. This consumption is considered high by the UN, which indicates the need for awareness and use of alternative sources.
Global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, and water availability per capita on the planet has been reduced by 60% in the last 50 years. Unfortunately, 40% of the world population is already facing scarcity of this resource and 25% of the population has no access to clear water, including developed countries.