Many of you should be familiar with the UN’s list of Millenium Development Goals. Goal number 7 is to ensure environmental sustainability, a vital part of which is to “reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.” Our progress on this goal will be the focus of the World Water Forum, to be held that week in Japan.
WorldWaterDay.org reports:
“World Water Day 2003 will be very much in the public eye. It will be a highlight of the Third World Water Forum (16-23 March 2003, Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka, Japan), which is itself a key event of the UN International Year of Freshwater. Discussions at the Forum in Kyoto will focus on the launch of the World Water Development Report, the first-ever UN system-wide effort to monitor progress against targets in such fields as health, food, ecosystems, cities, industry, energy, risk management, water valuation, resource sharing, knowledge base construction and governance.”

WorldWaterDay.org
January, 2003
Join the movement for action around the World Water Day, 22 March of each year.
Water for the Future is the theme for World Water Day 2003. It calls on each one of us to maintain and improve the quality and quantity of fresh water available to future generations. This is essential if we are to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to halve, by 2015, the number of people living without safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the the lead UN agency for World Water Day 2003. The goal is to inspire political and community action and encourage greater global understanding of the need for more responsible water use and conservation.
World Water Day 2003 will be very much in the public eye. It will be a highlight of the Third World Water Forum (16-23 March 2003, Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka, Japan), which is itself a key event of the UN International Year of Freshwater. Discussions at the Forum in Kyoto will focus on the launch of the World Water Development Report, the first-ever UN system-wide effort to monitor progress against targets in such fields as health, food, ecosystems, cities, industry, energy, risk management, water valuation, resource sharing, knowledge base construction and governance.
Water managers of the future
Many school children, especially girls, in the developing world are suffering from the lack of safe water and toilet facilities at school. This is hampering their learning and development. They also are the water managers of the future. To remedy this IRC and UNICEF are supporting a global School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) programme that is currently running in seven countries.
In Vietnam the authorities in September 2002 introduced hygiene, sanitation and water supply as a new subject “Socio and Natural Sciences” in the national curriculum for primary and lower secondary education.
The SSHE programme is characterised by the combined introduction of child-friendly provisions for sanitation, water supply, hand washing and drinking water in class (especially during the hot season), child-friendly educational methods, community participation, and a focus on behavioural change.
Water and livelihoods
An increasing awareness of the centrality of water to peoples wider livelihoods is leading to a reassessment of traditional approaches to water supply. Whether it is identifying the productive potential of domestic water supplies, or acknowledging the domestic use of ‘irrigation’ water, the need to respond to the real demands of water users is forcing the break down of sectoral boundaries and a search for new, practical solutions: policy, technical, institutional and financial. This is a centrale theme of an international symposium on ‘water, poverty and productive uses of water at the household level’, in South Affrica organized by four partners.
Please visit worldwaterday.org to learn more, and to find out how you can help make a difference!