Amusing Monday: World Water Day inspires photos and videos

World Water Day, coming up on Wednesday, is an annual event first established by the United Nations in 1992 to focus on the importance of freshwater and to encourage actions to provide clean drinking water while reducing water-borne illness around the world.

This year’s theme, waste water, was formulated into a question that creates a double meaning. It can be either “Why waste water?” or “Why wastewater?” The first question emphasizes the water-supply issues associated with World Water Day. The second emphasizes the closely related health aspects of sanitation. For a serious discussion of these two questions, listen to the talk on YouTube by Guy Ryder, director general of the International Labour Organization and chairman of UN-Water.

World Water Day has become a day to spread the word about water through educational programs, including videos. The heavy-hitting message of waterborne illness can be delivered with a sense of entertainment, even humor, as I’ve noted through the years. For example, in 2010, the organization End Water Poverty asked people to symbolically join the world’s longest line to go to the bathroom and Steven Colbert took time to talk about water. See Water Ways, March 22, 2010.

In 2014, I featured photos from a water-related contest held for World Water Day along with two videos. See Water Ways, March 22, 2014.

Actor Matt Damon, who founded the organization Water.org with activist Gary White, attracted attention to the world water crisis in 2013 with a series of videos focusing on what he called his “toilet strike.” In the first video, Matt holds a mock press conference to announce that he would not go to the bathroom until the world crisis over clean water and sanitation was resolved. You can review the full series of videos, which involved multiple actors and non-actors on the YouTube subchannel “Matt Damon goes on Strike.”

Which brings me to World Water Day 2017. I’ve reviewed dozens of new and old videos produced for this year’s event. Three can be found in the video players on this page. Others can be found in the list below:

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