World Water Day 2013 Themed 'Water Cooperation'


It's World Water Day today. And the importance of this day cannot be better understood by anyone other than those residing in Maharashtra, a state which is neck-deep in crisis due to the drought situation glowering over it. 

About World Water Day

World Water Day is observed every year on March 22 as 'a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources', as described by the United Nations.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. 

This year i.e. 2013 has been dedicated to the theme of 'water co-operation' in the backdrop of Year 2013 being the International Year of Water Co-operation jointly co-ordinated by UNESCO and UN-Water.

Water co-operation is a foundation for peace and sustainable development. It is the most important universal element that contributes to reducing poverty, creating economic benefits, helps in preserving water resources and protecting the environment. Water Co-operation builds stability and trust among individuals, states and nations. And thus, it is to focus on this subject, the celebrations for World Water Day on 22 March are on the theme of water co-operation.

What is Water Co-operation?

One of the five elements, water is required for fulfilling basic human needs, for sustaining the environment, for development on a whole, and most of all, for sustaining life in each and every living thing on Planet Earth.

Now, water, as we know it, is not evenly distributed across the globe. Hence, proper and systematic management of water becomes a challenging act, due to the socio-economic and political demographics involved. Then, there is the highly complex hydrological cycle, the perturbations of which, have multiple effects. Growing world population, now at over seven billion people, has seen a corresponding growing demand for water, for industrial and domestic use. Rapid urbanisation, pollution and climate change also threaten the natural resource. Conflicting interests in this matter need to be managed taking into account that water is a shared resource and that it is for one and all.

'Co-operation' is most essential at this stage when the resource is limited and gradually depleting. Naming 2013 as the UN International Year of Water Co-operation, the aim is to strike a balance between the needs and priorities, and accordingly share this resource preciously, using water as an instrument of peace. 

Did You Know?

  • The United Nations General Assembly celebrated 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day
  • 85 per cent of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet*
  • 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation*
  • 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases*
  • The cost of adapting to the impacts of a 2°C rise in global average temperature could range from US$70 to $100 billion per year between 2020 and 2050*
  • Nearly 450 agreements on international waters were signed between 1820 and 2007*

(* Figures mentioned are as per

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