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World Water Day: Billions lack safe drinking water, sanitation & electricity

World Water Day:  Water's Critical Role Around the World
World Water Day: Water's Critical Role Around the World
Adam Stone

If you need a little something to whet your whistle, how does a tall glass of ice-cold water sound right about now? For many of us, access to clean and safe water is as simple as turning on the tap or opening the 'fridge and grabbing a cool bottle of water. It is also something that many of us take for granted - until we don't have it.

Millions of people around the world do not and the numbers are staggering. It is estimated that over 780 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. 2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation and more than 1 billion people live without electricity. Just imagine what life would be like without those "luxuries."

World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day (WWD), an annual event that raises awareness about the importance of clean and safe water as well as the "sustainable management of freshwater resources."

In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution making World Day for Water an annual event to be observed on March 22. Each year, all sorts of events, activities and campaigns take place in honor of the occasion.

The international observance highlights different themes every year. This year's theme is "Water and Energy." The demand for both is increasing while supplies are limited. The United Nations predicts we will need at least 40 percent more water and 50 percent more energy by 2030. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message for World Water Day,

"On World Water Day, let us pledge to develop the policies needed to ensure that sustainable water and energy are secured for the many and not just the few."