International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 litres. When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger and water resources are under pressure we cannot pretend the problem is ‘elsewhere’. Coping with population growth and ensuring access to nutritious food to everyone call for a series of actions we can all help with: 1) follow a healthier, sustainable diet; 2) consume less water-intensive products; 3) reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost! 4) produce more food, of better quality, with less water.
At all steps of the supply chain, from producers to consumers, actions can be taken to save water and ensure food for all. And you? Do you know how much water you actually consume every day? How can you change your diet and reduce your water footprint? Join the World Water Day 2012 campaign “Water and Food Security” and find out more. For all the information be sure to visit UNwater.org.