UNA-NY Adopts the Global Water Crisis as a Fundamental Issue on Which It Will Provide Advocacy and Education.

This year's 2007 Humanitarian Award Dinner on October 25 focuses on this critical theme and pledges that significant proceeds from this event will benefit organizations working to alleviate problems related to water, around the world.

Please come back to this website often; we will provide fresh information for you on the water crisis and on what you can do to help. You will also find updates on water-related resources and events - brought to you by the United Nations Department of Public Information and our New York City Chapter, among others.

Please get educated. Make a difference!

International Decade for Action—Water for Life 2005-2015

In 2003, The United Nations General Assembly declared 2005 to 2015 as the International Decade for Action on "Water for Life," with a primary goal to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015. These commitments include the Millennium Development Goal to reduce the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by half by 2015, and to stop unsustainable exploitation of water resources.

10 Reasons You Should Care About Water, the essence of life

1: Every 15 seconds, a child dies from drinking contaminated water. (Water Partners International, Kansas City, MO)

2: More than 2.2 million people, mostly in developing countries, die each year from diseases associated with poor water and unsanitary conditions. (WHO/UNICEF/WSSCC, 2000: V)

3: Only 1% of the total water resources on earth is available for human use. While 70% of the world's surface is covered by water, 97.5% of that is salt water. Of the remaining 2.5% that is freshwater, almost 68.7% is frozen in ice caps and glaciers. (UN-WWAP, 2006 : Fig. 4.1)

4: Water scarcity already affects every continent and more than 40% of the people on our planet. (http://www.unwater.org/flashindex.html)

5: There are 1.1 billion people, or 18% of the world's population, who lack access to safe drinking water. About 2.6 billion people, or 42% of the total, lack access to basic sanitation. (WHO/UNICEF, 2005 : 40)

6: By 2025, it is estimated that about two thirds of the world's population - about 5.5 billion people - will live in areas facing moderate to severe water stress. (UN, 1997 : 19)

7: The world's population is expected to increase to approximately 7.2 billion people by 2015. Almost 95% of the increase is expected to be in developing regions. (WHO/UNICEF, 2005 : 40)

8: In an industrialized city with plenty of water, flushing the lavatory in an average household can send up to 50 litres (13 gallons) of water down the drain every day. Yet more than one in six people worldwide - 1.1 billion - don't have access to 20-50 litres of safe freshwater daily, the minimum range suggested by the UN to ensure each person's basic needs for drinking, cooking and cleaning. (www.unwater.org)

9: About 90% of sewage and 70% of industrial wastes in developing countries are discharged into water courses without treatment, often polluting the usable water supply.

10: The economic payback from investing US$11.3 billion per year to reach the Millennium targets for drinking water and sanitation by 2015 is estimated to be US$ 84 billion. (WHO, 2004: 34)

Visit here for more water facts: http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/factsheet.html - from the 'Water for Life' Fact Sheet and other sources.

Get Involved

Attend the 2007 UNA-NY Humanitarian Award Dinner on Oct 25, - Support the Global Water Crisis Cause

Can't attend? Make a tax-deductible contribution.

Be a Volunteer


Water Partners International

Water For People

Eco Friends

UN Volunteers

Photo Galleries

Water - Our Planet's Most Precious Resource Part One: India

Water - Our Planet's Most Precious Resource Part Two: Africa

Water - Our Planet's Most Precious Resource Part Three: Asia


The Water Cycle: Part 1: Surface Water and Groundwater

Play the UNICEF 'Voices of Youth' online game Water Alert! to help solve the world water crisis


Video Message: Water is essential for life  by the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who served from 1997 to 2006

Watch the Water, Drop of Life Video of the Decade and discover the issue at International Decade for Action, "Water for Life" 2005-2015 - United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York. Produced by SWYNK, Hilversum, Netherlands - Global Visions, Leicester, MA, USA

Useful links

Unilever and Water

The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Rotary International - Water: Our Looming Crisis

UN Works

UN-Water UN-Water is coordinating the 'Water for Life' Decade, 2005-2015. It is the United Nations inter-agency mechanism coordinating all relevant agencies, departments and programmes involved with water-related issues.

Water for Life Decade

World Water Day 2007

World Water Development Report 2

Human Development Report 2006