The United Nations has announced that World Water Day 2013 will be on Friday, March 22nd. This is part of the UN's declared 2005-2015 International Decade for Action "Water for Life." As part of World Water Day, children in the Netherlands and many other countries will "Walk for Water."
Walking for Water is an awareness and fundraising initiative to help children realize what many other people their own age must do every day to get water, often missing school to do it. The event started in 2003 and in mid-February 2013 had 6,000 students from over 80 schools in 21 countries signed up. Children aged 10 to 15 years get pledges from friends and family and walk 6 kilometers (about 3.5 miles), while carrying 6 liters (about 1.5 gallons) of water in backpacks. Six km is the average distance children in developing countries walk to get water for their families.
In 2010, 18,000 children from over 400 schools in the Netherlands raised €1.2 million for worldwide water projects. In 2011, the campaign went beyond the 25,000 children in the Netherlands, adding South Africa, England, Scotland and Malta. Funds were raised for projects in Tanzania, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The schools can choose a project they want to fund and watch the project develop online. In 2012, eleven countries participated.
At The Hague, Netherlands, the UN and the Government of The Netherlands have several events scheduled on World Water Day to address water cooperation, and the outcomes from the Thematic Consultation on Water in the post-2015 agenda will be discussed. See the website for various speakers and streaming that will be available to the world all day from the forums, discussions and sessions. The prize for the winner of the 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award will be given out. Best practices ensure long-term sustainable water resource management and help reach agreed targets and goals.
Water for Life's primary goal is the promotion of efforts to fulfill water and water-related international commitments by 2015, including the Millennium Development targets for cutting in half the number of people in the world who have no access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
In the United States, it takes about 2,000 gallons of water per day to support the average American's lifestyle, or twice the worldwide average. National Geographic's environment website
has a calculator where you can see your water footprint and make a pledge to voluntarily shrink it by being especially conscious of what you buy and eat. The pledges are free and corporate partners will sponsor ground projects that restore 1,000 gallons of water to the Colorado River per pledge. As of March 2013, 13,007,568 gallons of water have been pledged.