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Water is in the news this month

March 13, 2012

Water is necessary, of course, for drinking, but it’s also needed for cooking, cleaning, and for producing our food and clothing. Do you know how much water you use in a given day? Did you know that it takes 49 gallons of water to produce one bag of potato chips and 1.5 gallons to make the plastic bottle that contains the beverage you may drink with those chips? And what about the clothes you’re wearing? If you’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt today, you might be surprised to learn it took about another 2,200 gallons to grow the cotton for those clothes. The Nature Conservency provides these estimates and more information about how much water you really use in your daily activities here.

We generally don’t realize how dependent we are on water until there’s a shortage, and water scarcity is a growing problem in many parts of the world. This week more than 180 countries have sent representatives to Marseille, France to participate in the 6th World Water Forum. The World Water Forum has convened every three years since 1997 to discuss the challenge of providing universal access to safe water and sanitation.

You can read more about the 6th World Water Forum here and you can find the Ministerial Declaration here. The Ministerial Declaration is an official document, approved by the Ministers and Heads of Delegations, that elaborates their goals for the conference. You can also find updates during the remainder of the conference (it ends March 17) on facebook and on twitter by following @WorldWaterForum or searching for #Waterforum6.

The World Water Forum is not the only event focused on water this month. Each year since 1993, the United Nations has observed World Water Day on March 22nd. You can learn more about World Water Day and this year’s theme “The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry” at the UN’s 2012 World Water Day website. You can also find more data on water resources and use on the UN Water website.

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