World Water Day, March 22
World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater. At the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development it was recommended that there be an international day to celebrate freshwater, the United Nations General Assembly agreed and designated March 22, 1993 the first World Water Day.
Water is such an invaluable resource and the issues surrounding it’s use, conservation, and quality are immense. In 2001 the focus was : Water for Health – Taking Charge, 2004 focused on: Water and Disasters, 2010 was Water Quality. This years objective is: Water and Food Security.
Water is the key to food security. People with better access to water tend to have lower levels of undernourishment. Drought is the most common cause of severe food shortages and has caused more deaths during the last century than any other natural disaster.
The logic behind that is quite simple; it takes water to produce food. All the food from crop and livestock product, inland fisheries, forest products, requires water. No water – no food. Think about this, it takes about 1500 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of wheat, but it takes more than 15,000 to produce 1 kilogram of beef. That doesn’t include the water used for processng the meat, milk, and other dairy products; nor does it account of the water needed to produce feed for the cattle.
To keep pace with the growing demand for food, it is estimated that 14% more freshwater will be needed for agricultural purposes in the next thirty years. With growing concerns regarding water scarcity is that even possible? Questions raised as the focus of this years World Water Day give us hope that by better using and protecting the water resources, following a healthier, more sustainable diet, reducing food waste, and rethinking water usage; we can produce more, better quality food with less water.