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What would the world be like if there was water for all?

Worldwide, 100 million families are stuck in a cycle of poverty and disease because of the lack of access to clean water. What would it take to slake humanity's thirst for water in a sustainable way?

child receives a drink of water in Sudan

Water is a precondition for human existence, and for the sustainability of our planet. It is entwined with almost everything human, from climate change and global economy to gender issues and human rights.

Worldwide, 100 million families are stuck in a cycle of poverty and disease, because they don’t have access to safe water.

In some countries, women and girls spend up to 6 hours every day walking to get water for their families.

Water-borne diseases kill more children under the age of five than malaria, measles, and HIV/AIDS—combined.

In developing countries, as much as 80 per cent of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions, and 2.4 billion people worldwide lack access to a toilet.

Water scarcity, flooding and lack of proper wastewater management continue to hinder social and economic development.

The United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 calls for “ensuring the availablity and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, by 2030.”

Accordingly, World Water Day—celebrated on March 22nd—is observed internationally as day to inspire people around the world to learn more about water-related issues, and to take action to make a difference.

This year’s World Water Day theme, “Water for All,” is focused on tackling the water crisis as it affects marginalised groups, including women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others.

Watch this video that demonstrates how water and inclusive development is inextricably linked.

This story was published with permission from IPS.  

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