Tag Archives: United Nations

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.

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Amusing Monday: Celebrating World Water Day

I’m posting this “Amusing Monday” entry two days early, because today is officially World Water Day, as declared by the United Nations.

Photo by xxxx. Copyright World Water Day, used with permission
Photo by Murli Menon.
Copyright World Water Day, used with permission

I guess the timing is not that important. After all, I don’t expect anyone to go out and march in a World Water Day parade, or fire off water pistols in celebration, or even drink water in excess and then sleep in the next morning. But if you are inclined to celebrate, you may as well celebrate the essential value of water.

The photos on this page are the top choices of Facebook voters in a contest sponsored by World Water Day.

The picture of the white tiger, called “Water Preserves the Earth,” is said to demonstrate that all creatures need water, yet the tiger realizes that this water is polluted and hesitates to drink it.

Photo by Joseph Galea Copyright World Water Day, used with permission
Photo by Joseph Galea
Copyright World Water Day, used with permission

The second photo, called “Water Gives Energy,” illustrates the hope of a future when all children have access to a safe supply of water.

A slide show of the best photos submitted in the context can be found on the World Water Day Flickr page.

Finally, the two videos below provide a strong contrast between technologies available to produce a clean supply of water for everyone.

Earth Hour unites people around the world

Here’s a quick reminder that Earth Hour is tonight from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

During this hour, when people throughout the world switch off their lights in a simple symbolic act, millions are showing their support for actions addressing climate change.

As I said last year in Water Ways, this may seem like a small thing, even a waste of time, but all important movements start with small actions. Participants often say they feel united with people around the world.

This year, the third year of the event, Earth Hour is sanctioned in 3,100 cities in 121 countries, according to the “My Earth Hour” Web site, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund.
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World Water Day raises personal, technical issues

Water is the basic building block of life on Earth. Thankfully, it seems that water is in plentiful supply in most places in our country. Because of our vast water and sewer systems, it is easy to overlook the fact that nearly 1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and that 2.6 billion people do not have access to a sanitary toilet. We may not know that thousands of people die every day, not from the consequences of war but because of dehydration and diseases caused by lack of sanitation.

From UN photo galleries

Learning about those issues is what the United Nations World Water Day is all about, as stated in a message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

“Our growing population’s need for water for food, raw materials and energy is increasingly competing with nature’s own demands for water to sustain already imperiled ecosystems and the services on which we depend…

“The theme of this year’s World Water Day, ‘Clean Water for a Healthy World,’ emphasizes that both the quality and the quantity of water resources are at risk. More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war. These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential.”

Check out the UN photo galleries.
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Amusing Monday: A lighter side of World Water Day

Today is World Water Day, designated by the United Nations to reflect on the critical importance of water in the world and to recognize the billions of people who lack sanitary conditions.

World's longest restroom line

I’ll post another blog entry at noon today about the serious problem, but I wanted to share a few of the lighter and artistic elements brought to World Water Day.

The first thing is a Web site that asks you to join the world’s longest line to use the restroom, or “toilet queue,” as it is called. This interactive site asks people to select an avatar and a slogan in support of sanitation and clean water. The line has been growing rapidly the past few days. Simply go to the World’s Longest Toilet Queue, and click on “join the queue” to add your name to the list or create you own list of friends and colleagues.

I was also impressed with photo galleries created from pictures submitted to the United Nations’ World Water Day Web site by people from around the world. I was amused by the photo below, which shows a man collecting water bottles on a pushcart, but other ones elicit a variety of emotions.

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