Freshwater is an incredibly important resource, and on March 22nd, the UN wants the whole world to think about what that resource means to us: it's World Water Day. Each year the event focuses on a different aspect of freshwater, and this year's theme is the relationship between food, water and conservation. To supply the desperate need for clean water around the world, we need to focus on how we consume food, because everything we eat has a cost in water.
As the UN World Water Day site points out, the world's human population is currently 7 billion, with 2 billion more expected by 2050. Each person consumes between 2-4 litres of water each day, but that number isn't just about the water we drink - it also refers to the water used to make the food we eat. It takes 15,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of beef, for example. Wasteful eating and wasteful food production leads to water shortages.
So for those of us who live in parts of the world where water is plentiful - both as individuals and food producers - the goal of conserving water requires some changes to our relationship with food. The UN recommends we:
• Follow a healthier, sustainable diet;
• Consume products that are less water-intensive;
• Reduce food wastage - 30% of food produced worldwide isn't eaten, and the water used to produce it is simply lost!
• Produce more high-quality food while using less water.
For more information, visit the World Water Day website.
The Guardian also offers a sobering reflection on the need for more aid from the UK to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene around the world. The opinion piece by Glenys Kinnock takes the British government to task for what she says is an insufficient commitment to providing such aid.
There are several events planned across Canada, as well (all today, March 22nd, unless otherwise indicated):
Fort McMurray, Alberta - 10:15am-11:45am - YMCA Thickwood/Westwood School / 12:00pm-2:30pm Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre - Learn about World Water Day and help reach the goal of $6000 to build a well in Africa for the African Well Fund. Details
Winnipeg, Manitoba - 12:00pm-1:30pm - Holiday Inn South - CWRA Manitoba Luncheon - Water and Food Security: At Home and Abroad. Details
Quebec City, Quebec - March 24th - Evening - Colisée Pepsi - La Soirée One Drop à Québec - As part of World Water Day, this fundraising event will help collect funds essential to the success of One Drop projects around the world. Details
Fredericton, New Brunswick - 7:30pm-9:30pm - UNB Art Centre, Memorial Hall, UNB - Water, Water Everywhere... Variety Show/Fundraiser. Details
Charlottetown, PEI - 9pm-10:30pm - 64 King Street - Free Movie Screening of 'Flow'. Details