In a bid to focus attention on the importance of fresh water and advocating for the sustainable management of water resources, world water day is held annually on March 22nd
The United Nations General assembly responded by designating 22nd March as the World Water Day..
Thus, March 22, 1993 was the first World Water Day.
Water needed for survival
All living beings need water for survival. It has been proved that a living being on earth should breathe, drink and eat to live on.Without breathing one can live only for a short spell of time counted in seconds and minutes. One can live a longer period without food than without water. It has been proved that the longest time that one can live without water is seven days.
International decade of action on water for life 2005-2015
The United Nations General Assembly at its 58th session in December 2003agreed to proclaim the years 2005 -2015 as the International decade of action on water for life and March 22 as the World’s Water Day. An attempt was made to ensure the participation of women in water related development efforts. The increasing significance of water scarcity and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable and equitable management of scarce water resources both at international and local levels was highlighted.
Serious problems to be faced by users of water throughout the world
The Director-General of Food and Agricultural Organization (F.A.O} said on World Water Day2007, “Fourteen percent of the fresh water will need to be withdrawn for agricultural purposes in the next thirty years to cater to the global population which is expected to reach 8.1 billion by 2030”, he said. The pressure on water resources intensifies paving way to tensions and conflicts.
Human activities contributing to the water crisis
A severe water crisis will occur in the world approximately nine years from now as a result of human activities. On World Water Day, United Nations call on every one to be prepared to face the water crisis that will take place in the near future.Three-fourths of the fresh water that people use every day come from forested catchment areas.
Water scarcity in Sri Lanka at present for cultivation
About 50,000 Hectares of paddy lands which were cultivated in the Yala season had been destroyed due to the lack of water and only 40 percent of the families were able to reap a harvest this year. Many farmlands are being affected by the droughtThe Department of Irrigation announced that water can be distributed only to 60 percent of paddy lands
Scarcity of drinking water
The water sources of many villages in the districts of Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Trincomalee Kilinochchi, Vavunia, Monaragala, Ratnapura and Kurunegala districts have dried up. More than 51.000 families that are directly affected by the drought engage in a daily struggle to obtain the water that is being distributed by bowsers. Drought conditions are a seasonal occurrence in these areas. In certain areas of the Anuradhapura district there is only one well that provides clean drinking water to multiple villages.
There is the urgent need to implement sustainable plans
Conflicts among nations with water as the bone of contention are not recent ones. It was Gautama Buddha who mediated in a conflict between Sakyans and Kolians and taught the world the principles of water management.The Enlightened One intervened in the deadly war launched among His relatives for the water of river Rohini.. This river flowing between the borders of Sakya and Koliya Kingdoms provided irrigation facilities for farmlands in both kingdoms.
Farmers and rulers who knew nothing about water management resorted to a deadly war without arriving at a compromise to share the river water.The Enlightened One who envisaged the impending danger appeared before the rival groups. He explained to them the ill effects of fighting over the natural resource for which both sides had equal rights.
Have we achieved World Water day themes of the previous decade?
“Water for the 21st century” was the theme for the year 2000,”Water for development” for the year 2002, and “Water for the future“for the year 2004. These themes indicate that it is the responsibility of every one of us in making drinking water and sanitation available to future generations. We should act accordingly if we are to achieve the Millennium Development goal.
"About 50,000 Hectares of paddy lands which were cultivated in the Yala season had been destroyed due to the lack of water and only 40 percent of the families were able to reap a harvest this year"