World Water Day 2007: ‘Coping with Water Scarcity’
World Water Day is celebrated on 22 March of every year. Each celebration follows a different theme to reflect the many facets of freshwater resources, and a different United Nations agency is selected to coordinate events around the world. World Water Day 2007 will be guided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the theme 'Coping with Water Scarcity’.
The theme highlights the significance of cooperation and the importance of an integrated approach to water resource management at both international and local levels. Equity and rights, cultural and ethical issues are essential and must be addressed when dealing with limited water resources. Imbalances between availability and demand, the degradation of groundwater and surface water quality, intersectoral competition, interregional and international disputes, all of these questions revolve around coping with scarce water resources.
More information on Coping with Water Scarcity [PDF format - 476 KB]
More information on World Water Day
CIWEM World of Difference Award 2007
12 January 2007 (Deadline for submission)
Organizer: The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), United Kingdom
This award was established in 2004 as a means of rewarding the leading proponents of the practical application of science and engineering for environmental improvement. The award is international and open to all, and focuses on innovative design in water and wastewater projects.
The award consists of a trophy, a certificate, publicity for the winning project and a cheque for £1000.
To be eligible for the award, projects must:
- be related to the water cycle
- be at least at the application stage and specific, rather than theoretical design
- be innovative and achievable
- demonstrate sustainability
- be beneficial to the environment.
7th WATERnet/WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium ‘Mainstreaming IWRM in the Development Process’
1-3 November 2006, Lilongwe, Malawi - Organizers: Water Research Fund for Southern Africa (WARFSA); WATERnet; Global Water Partnership - Southern Africa (GWP-SA); Department of History, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Dept. of Geography and Earth Sciences of the University of Malawi
2nd EWA Brussels Conference
7 November 2006, Brussels, Belgium -Organizer: The European Water Association (EWA)
2nd International Conference on Disaster Reduction ‘Mumbai Declaration and Beyond: Public-Private Partnership’
9-10 November 2006, Mumbai, India -Organizers: Global Forum for Disaster Reduction (GFDR); New Media Communication, Indian; International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)
Hydronómica 2006 Convention: The Costs and Price of Water
13-15 November 2006, Barcelona, Spain -Organizer: Catalan Water Agency, Spain; Environment and Housing Department of the Catalonian Regional Government, Spain
‘Farming, Water and the Environment - Communicating lessons into practice’ Conference
22 November 2006, London, United Kingdom -Organizer: The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), United Kingdom
Conference on Water Pollution in Natural Porous Media (WAPO²)
11-13 April 2007, Barcelona, Spain -Organizer: Spanish Geological and Mining Institute (IGME); University of Málaga, Spain; Polytechnical University of Catalonia, Spain; UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP)
DID YOU KNOW...? FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT WATER-RELATED DISEASES
- Water, sanitation and hygiene have important impacts on both health and disease.
- Water-related diseases kill a child every 8 seconds, and are responsible for 80% of all illnesses and deaths in the developing world.
- Water-related diseases kill more than 5 million people every year, more than ten times the number killed in wars.
- Arsenicosis is caused by long-term exposure to low concentrations of arsenic in drinking-water. It causes painful skin keratosis (hardened lesions) and can result in cancers of the skin, lungs, bladder and kidney. Millions of people are potentially in danger from arsenic poisoning since the water supplies they rely on are contaminated with arsenic (mainly from natural sources) and they either do not have a safe alternative for water supply or are unaware of the risks.
- Cholera is an acute bacterial infection of the intestinal tract. It causes severe diarrhoea attacks that, if they are not treated adequately, can quickly lead to acute dehydration and death. Cholera is a world-wide problem that could be prevented by providing access to safe drinking water, sanitation and good hygiene behaviour (including food hygiene). In 2002, over 120,000 cholera cases were reported worldwide.
- Diarrhoea is caused by a variety of micro-organisms including viruses, bacteria and protozoans. It causes a person to lose both water and electrolytes, which leads to dehydration and, in some cases, to death. About 4 billion cases of diarrhoea per year cause 1.8 million deaths, over 90% of them (1.6 million) among children under five.
- Fluorosis is a serious bone disease caused by high concentrations of fluoride occurring naturally in groundwater. It is endemic in at least 25 countries across the globe. The total number of people affected is not known, but a conservative estimate would number in the tens of millions.
- People contract guinea worm disease (also known as Dracunculiasis) when drinking water contaminated with Dracunculus larvae. The larvae mature into large (up to a metre long) adult Guinea worms and leave the human host’s body after about a year, causing debilitating ulcers. In 2002 there were 50,000 cases reported in a total of 13 countries in Africa.
- People become infected with intestinal parasitic worms (also know as helminths) through contact with soil contaminated with human faeces from an infected person, or by eating contaminated food. Intestinal worms infect about 10% of the population in the developing world and, depending upon the severity of the infection, lead to malnutrition, anaemia or retarded growth. About 400 million school-age children are infected by roundworm, whipworm and/or hookworm.
- Malaria is caused by a parasite carried by certain types of mosquitoes. Humans are infected when bitten by the mosquitoes. Each year, there are 300 million to 500 million cases of malaria throughout the world and about 1 million children die of malaria. Reducing the mosquito population in households and communities by eliminating standing water can be an important factor in reducing malaria cases.
- Schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia) is a disease caused by parasitic worms. At various stages of the life cycle, worms and their eggs live in certain types of freshwater snails, water (where they can survive for up to 48 hours) and human hosts. They penetrate the skin of people swimming or washing in contaminated water; they then cause infection and can eventually damage the liver, intestines, lungs and bladder. About 200 million people are infected with schistosomiasis.
- Studies have found that adequate water supply and sanitation could reduce infection rates by 77%.
- Trachoma is an eye infection spread mainly through poor hygiene caused by lack of adequate water supplies and unsafe environmental sanitation conditions. About 6 million people are blind today because of trachoma. It affects women two to three times more than men. Children are also especially vulnerable to trachoma. Studies have found that providing adequate water supplies could reduce infection rates by 25%.
- Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. Symptoms are characterized by headaches, nausea and loss of appetite. About 12 million people are affected by typhoid every year.
Information from the ‘Common water and sanitation-related diseases’ section of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) website; and from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘Water and sanitation related diseases fact sheets’.
PUBLICATIONS RELATED TO WATER-RELATED DISEASES
Water Recreation and Disease. Plausibility of associated infections: Acute effects, sequelae and mortality [PDF format – 3.07 MB]
By Kathy Pond. © World Health Organization (WHO) 2005
Worldwide, the popularity of recreational activities which involve contact with water is growing. Ease of travel and change in human behaviour has altered the use of water for recreational purposes. Recreational exposures to pathogens may result in disease.
This publication provides a comprehensive review and analysis of potential disease outcomes associated with recreational water activities. It will be useful to all those concerned with recreational water quality, including environmental and public health professionals, local authorities, and user groups.
Access the full publication [PDF format - 3.07 MB]
LINKS ABOUT WATER-RELATED DISEASES
This World Health Organization (WHO) section contains fact sheets on over 20 water-related diseases, estimates of the global burden of water-related disease, information on water requirements (quantity, service level) to secure health benefits, and facts and figures on water, sanitation and hygiene links to health.
Common water and sanitation-related diseases
This United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) website section offers information on common water and sanitation-related diseases such as: diarrhoea, arsenicosis, cholera, fluorosis, guinea worm disease, intestinal worms, malaria and typhoid, among others.
Water-related Disease Facts
This fact sheets prepared by Water Partners International Organization contains different facts related to water related diseases.
SUBSCRIBE & UNSUBSCRIBE
Total number of subscribers: 13,944