World Water Day 2011 is celebrated worldwide on 22nd March ever since its inception in the year 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. It’s an initiative by the United Nations to conserve water and spread awareness of its importance all over the world. It is interesting to note that 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, and an average amount of the water content in the human body is 70% yet the world is facing a shortage of clean water. Every second, the urban population grows by 2 people. 95% of the urban expansion in the next decades will take place in the developing world. One out of four city residents worldwide, 789 million in total, lives without access to improved sanitation facilities.
The main objective of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems. Water being one of the basic necessities of our lives needs to be used very carefully, by conserving water and also we should make sure that it is not getting polluted.
The UAE, is among the top per capita consumers of water in the world. The capital, Abu Dhabi consumes 550 litres (145 gallons) of water per person per day, an official from the emirate's Environment Agency said last year, compared to a world average of 180-200 litres. At the same time, the country suffers from a chronic shortage of water due its year-long hot and dry climate. The UAE depends on groundwater and desalination plants, but its fresh water reserves are expected to deplete in the next five decades, according to Abu Dhabi's Environment Agency.
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Water for cities: Responding to Urban Challenges.” It aims to encourage governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to actively engage in addressing the challenge of urban water management.
|A DIAC poster reminding students and faculties to save water on World Water Day 2011. Photo by Zainba Das|
The Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) has taken has taken an initiative to make a difference in Dubai this year on World Water Day 2011. This event is handled by Senior Manager of the Campus Operations, Mr. George Varghese, who has encouraged members to be active participants towards this cause.
The main motive of this day is to make individuals and campus students realize the value of water and the tagline being that ‘Every Drop Counts’. There have been posters which have been put up all over DIAC in order to mark this day to make a difference. Posters have been put up especially on washroom doors and water coolers. Badges are also being distributed to save water to create awareness. With the amount of crisis taking place today, it is very important to realize that we should not waste water.
Mr. Krishnakumar, the Facilities Manager of Manipal University, Dubai commented that, “Saving water is the need of the hour, and is very important and people should realize their responsibilities to save water and our environment for our future.” Manipal University Dubai is working along with DIAC to ensure that students and faculty members become aware of the importance of water and contribute in water saving initiatives.
Here are a few suggestions as to how we can conserve water:
- Monitor our water bills.
- Take shorter showers.
- Wash dishes in a filled sink.
- Wash clothes on a full load.
- Re-use excess water.
- Repair leaks promptly.
- Half flush your toilet.
Nonita Sebin, an Engineering student of Manipal University Dubai says that, “I admit that I am usually little carefree about the amount of water I use. But I have realized the importance of saving water and I will surely do my best.”
Dinesh Ramanathan, Media student said that "Every drop makes an ocean. Every drop saved is a drop that can be used tomorrow and perhaps an ocean of clean water in the future."
Let us all join hands to support this cause. Today’s concern after all is tomorrow’s safety.
How much water is required to make the products we consume? Check out this cool Virtual Water Calculator. (For example: 1 A4 sheet of paper consumes 10 litres of water to make).
Report By: Zainab Das with Inputs from Joseph John
|Photo by Zainba Das|