Water continues to be our most precious commodity; humans can’t survive without it, neither can animals or plants. And while water issues do exist in every corner of the world, urban areas can be some of the most demanding, yet possess the greatest opportunities for efficient water management.
This year on World Water Day, we call attention to the impact of urbanization, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.
Approximately half of the global population now resides in urban areas, and according to the United Nations report: World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009 Revision, most of the planet’s population growth will be absorbed by such urban areas over the next forty years – increasing the level of urbanization from 50% to 69% in 2050.
As urban areas continue to grow, the demands on local water sources increase and water scarcity becomes a vexing problem, especially to the poorest citizens. When municipalities can’t keep up with demands placed on water treatment facilities, the result is an increase in pollution, both locally and in downstream bodies of water.
“We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking-water, sanitation and basic health care.” – Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General.
While the United Nations continues to do an incredible job of raising awareness, at local, national and global levels, effective solutions will only come about when more individuals – Like You – become aware of these issues and encourage governments, corporations, and fellow citizens to address the critical need for clean water!