Happy World Water Day!

Don’t forget, it’s World Water Day. The first World Water Day was originally declared by the United Nations General Assembly on March 22, 1993. This annual designation is meant to focus international attention on global water problems and solutions.

Each World Water Day is assigned a unique theme. The theme for today is “Shared Waters – Shared Opportunities” to recognize the importance of understanding transboundary surface water and ground water sources (waters that span two or more political boundaries). There are at least 263 transboundary rivers basins (surface water) and 273 transboundary aquifers (ground water) in the world. Over 40 percent of all people on the planet live in international river basins.

In honor of World Water Day, I’ve watched the video called River of War, River of Life: The Fate of the Nile by Luciana Capretti on the World Water Day website.

Posted to Live Earth Video by andy on March 09, 2009

This short film describes water problems encountered by the ten countries that lie within the Nile River Basin from the headwaters to the delta. Problems in the basin include dam construction, rapid development, political conflicts regarding water sources, dropping water levels, diminishing aquatic species, and watershed deforestation. Much of the film focuses on Uganda’s efforts at curtailing these problems with policy solutions. Yet, all of the countries in the Nile River Basin seem to poised to draft an accord for the fair use of the waters of the Nile under the Nile Basin Initiative. Overall the film was a bit Western-centric in view, but with astonishing imagery and important information nonetheless.

Author’s Postscript: Daniel Collins, author of the water blog Cr!key Creek, has compiled all water blog posts that focus on transboundary water and World Water Day. Be sure to check out his website to read other interesting posts on similar topics.

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Comments

  1. I happened to be in Uganda last October, advising on water resources and climate change, though it ended up being more climate variability. So I can say the film does a pretty good job at covering Uganda’s problems – it misses a few, and got some details a little wrong, but hey it’s a positive contribution.

    I was really amazed and satisfied by going there. I had been worried that someone with as much theoretical background as myself could not offer practical advise, but when I was there, it just flowed. I highly recommend people given even a month or so of their time to visit water-challenged communities and share ideas, particularly if the places are technologically challenged as well.

    • Thanks for the comment, Daniel. Yes, good advice. Traveling abroad always opens the mind to the economic variability so present in our world. Sometimes here in the United States it may be easy to forget that there are many others with much, much less.

  2. I would call it a HAPPY World Water Day yesterday – way too little awareness is out there.

    Your film helps to increase awareness – thank you so much!

    Water greetings!

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

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