World Water Day 2011, ‘Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge’

The 22nd March is the World Water Day which raises global awareness on the importance of freshwater and the need to use freshwater resources wisely. Each year a specific aspect of freshwater is highlighted, in 2011 the focus is ‘Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge’. This is a particularly important topic given the fact that one in two people on the planet live in a city and this number is rising.  Managing the water and the waste of such a large urban population is a major global problem which threatens the lives of many people around the world and plays a big role in environmental degradation. To resolve this problem integrated management of water and waste is needed which puts to use efficient water treatment technologies.

Events are being organized to celebrate WWD around the globe and like every year the UN has created campaign material like posters, logos, desktop backgrounds, banners and others freely available for downloading. The main global event will take place in Cape Town, South Africa and the key issues to be discussed include the growing urban water and sanitation demand,  increased pollution from municipal and industrial discharges, climate change and its unforeseen risks and challenges, overexploitation of available water resources, and better targeting of the urban poor. Ideally, raising awareness on the theme of urbanization and water will encourage governments, organizations, individuals and the civil society as a whole to take action on this important issue.

Many of the WWD celebrations will take place in Mediterranean countries like Morocco, Egypt, Spain, France and many others. These events have been organized by national actors but also on a regional and local basis by NGO’s, associations and other organisations. Interesting activities like open days for wastewater treatment plants, music concerts and cleaning campaigns have been organized, for more information click here.