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Growing Concern About Water Cycle
Rajendra P Sharma
 

WATER has a very important impact on overall well-being of humankind, but if it is not used properly. It may have devastating impact. Every year excessive flooding in the major rivers around the world have resulted thousands of deaths and enormous damages, mostly in the places where mostly poor people live. The floods are not only the result of excessive rains, but also of interference by humankind in the river basins. These tragedies make us realise that everybody in this world lives downstream.

Short Supply

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 we drink from 2 to 4 litres of water every day; however most of the water we drink is embedded in the food we eat. in the context of growing utilisation of water, when we divert or taken out of the water from its natural system, that will affect the local surface water supply, which in the long run, affects the ecosystem as well as the local communities. Hence, the availability and quality of water is increasingly under strain. If conditions remain constant for the foreseeable future, much of the world would find itself in a state of water-related crisis. To make matters worse, populations are growing most rapidly in those areas where water is already in short supply.

Every time, where human beings disrupt the natural water cycle there is a consequence. When large quantities of water are diverted or taken out of the natural system this affects the local surface water supply, which, in the long run, affects the ecosystem, plants and animals, as well as the local communities. Therefore, there is a growing concern about the water cycle, groundwater, surface water and ways for better management.

In relation to increase awareness and find solution together, an International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of water-supply and advocating for the sustainable management of water supply as water resources. The day is to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and the United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. The theme highlights the increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources, both at international and local levels. Usually, the day draws attention to the fact that there are as many ways of viewing, using and celebrating water as there are cultural traditions across the world.

Since 1993, each year, World Water Day (WWD) highlights a specific aspect of water. The theme of the World Water Day 1994 was "Caring for Our Water Resources is Everyone’s Business" and "women in water" in 1995. The theme of the WWD was "Water for Thirsty Cities" in 1996, "The World’s Water - Is There enough" in 1997, "Ground Water - The Invisible Resource" in 1998, "Everyone Lives Downstream" in 1999, "Water For The 21st Century" in 2000, "Water For Health - taking charge" in 2001, "Water for Development" in 2002, "Water For Future" in 2003, "Water For Disaster" in 2004. After 12 years experiences, the theme of WWD 2005 was set as "Water For Life 2005 - 2015" as UN General Assembly in December 2003 agreed to proclaim the years 2005 to 2015 as the International Decade for Action, "Water For Life", and begin with WWD, March 22, 2005 on "a greater focus on water-related issues, striving to ensure the participation of women in water-related development efforts and further cooperation at all levels to achieve water-related goals of the Millennium Declaration, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Agenda 21.

With this, involvement and cooperation was significantly increased and WWD was celebrated with the theme of "Water for Culture" in 2006, and "Water Scarcity" in 2007. In 2008, WWD coincided with the International Year of Sanitation to spur action as in every 20 seconds a child dies as a result of the abysmal sanitation that accumulate a sum of some 2.6 billion people globally. In 2009, the theme for WWD was "Shared Water - Shared Opportunities" focussing on trans-boundary waters with the hope that nurturing the cross-border cooperation to build mutual respect, understanding and trust among countries and promote peace, security and sustainable economic growth. The WWD 2010 was dedicated to "Water Quality", reflecting its importance alongside quantity of the resource in the water management. Further, the WWD 2010 campaign was envisaged to raise awareness about sustaining ecosystems and human well-being through addressing the increasing water quality challenges and raise the profile of quantity, quality and re-use of water. After such long experience, the WWD 2011 became able to draw 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. The theme "Water For Cities Of 2011: Responding To The Urban Challenge", aiming to highlight the new urban challenges and encourage governments, organizations, communities and individuals to engage in addressing the challenges of urban water management.

Attention

When all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life and water is one of the fundamental factor to the food production and use. Once again, the WWD 2012 was celebrated Thursday worldwide with the theme of "Water and Food Security" that intended to draw international attention on the relationships between water and food security. In the context of Nepal too, where we are suffering from water scarcity for drinking making almost all river polluted, the message for the day was to commit series of concrete actions that can help to follow a healthier and sustainable water supply and call to provide clean drinking water and increase awareness turning words into political commitment and actions.

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