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March 22nd is World Water Day 2013 - this year's theme is 'Water Cooperation'.

By mid-Century, the world population is projected to reach 9 billion thereby increasing the food and fibre demand by 70%. If the pressure on water resources is not solved, there might be severe food and water shortage. If you think you are not going to live that long to see the shortage, think of the place you are leaving for your children or grand-children or loved ones to live in.


Where are we?

* Of all of the water on the planet, only 2.5% is Fresh water of which only 1% is available for human use as the rest is frozen in Antartica and Greenland ice-caps.
* As per the United Nations, every person needs 20-50 litres of water per day to cover their basic drinking, cooking and sanitation needs.
* One in six (more than 894 million) people in the world don't have access to improved water sources.
* Lack of basic sanitation conditions affects more than one third of the world's population (around 2.5 billion people including 1 billion children). With proper sanitation, 1.5 million deaths could be prevented around the world.
* Lack of fresh water in 3rd world countries causes not only malnutrition but also food scarcity due to crop failure and a subsequent price increase. Unsustainable water use is exposing 10 countries in the Middle East and Africa to extreme water shortage.
* In the US households, 1.25 trillion gallons of water is wasted every year of which 30% is used to water flower-beds and laws.
* More than one-fourth of the water we use to grow over one billion ton of food is eaten by none.

How can we use water more responsibly?

Check-list on Indoor Water Use
* I have checked my toilet, pipes and faucets for leaks. Your toilet can use more water than any other item in your home. A toilet leak can silently waste hundreds of gallons of water each day. Toilets are the only water-using appliance that we don't turn on and off with each use and because toilets drain to the sewer system, you may not see it leaking.
* I take shorter showers.
* I installed water-saving shower heads or flow-restrictors.
* I turn off the water after wetting my toothbrush.
* I rinse my razor in a partially-filled sink.
* I have checked for leaks.
* I use my automatic dishwasher and clothes washer for full loads only.
* If I wash dishes by hand, I don’t leave the water running for rinsing.
* I use organic and bio-degradable personal care and household cleaning products wherever possible.

Quick Check List on Outdoor Water Use
* I have water-efficient landscaping.
* I use a broom or blower to clean driveways, sidewalks and steps.
* I don’t let water flow down the driveway while washing my car.
* I let my children play in the sprinklers only on my assigned days.
* I water during the cool parts of the day, never between noon and 6:00 p.m.
* I don’t water when it’s windy or raining.
* I don’t allow water to fill the gutter.
* I check monthly for leaks in outside pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings.
* I use a spray nozzle with a shut-off handle on my hose.
* I check or readjust my automatic sprinkler timer at least once a month during the watering season.

Water cooperation is key to poverty eradication, social equity and gender equality. Access to clean water is the foundation for the fulfilment of basic human needs. Do your bit by using water responsibly. A small step goes a long way to create a ripple effect in the community that we are as one world. Start where you are, wherever you are! ♥