March 22nd marks the international annual observance of World Water Day as designated by the United Nations General Assembly through the adoption of resolution A/RES/47/193. The observance of World Water Day came in the wake of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro to adhere to the recommendations contained in Chapter 18 of Agenda 21. The recommendations invited States to dedicate the Day in a national context to promote awareness and activities related to the development and sustainability of freshwater resources.
The theme for the 2009 World Water Day focuses on trans-boundary waters lead by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Events across the globe are taking place to celebrate World Water Day this year, including:
- Canada: the Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology will be having a “Wavemaker Celebration” to recognize water as a precious resource.
- Greece: a conference on New Technologies in Water Management hosted by the Balkan Environment Center, in cooperation with the Region of Central Macedonia, the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the European Space Agency, the Municipality of Lagadas, the Municipality of Echedoros, the National Center for Environment and Sustainable Development (ΕΚΠΑΑ), the Inten-Synergy (NGO).
- Mexico: a united campaign for water.
- Singapore: an artistic and humanitarian concert series that aims to raise funds for supplying potable water production modules to selected rural areas in Vietnam through the Vietnam Potable Water Project (VPWP).
- South Africa: an International Conference and Exhibition on Water in the Environment. The conference will address the many challenges of water resources management to many countries in the region, especially those with limited resources. There will be a discussion for ways to improve water technologies and continue to transfer the results of R&D to real applications.
- United Kingdom: a Water of Life Half Marathon to help raise money for the African Medical and Research Foundation on World Water Day.
- United States: various celebrations across the nations, especially walks. In DC, www.waterforpeopledc.org; in California, www.marchforwater.com ; in Ohio, www.uuakron.org
There are numerous other events and activities. To find out if there is an event in your area, visit World Water Day website.