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Mar 22

Happy World Water Day!

WWD2016_en-RVB

Happy World Water Day!

Take time to reflect on your water usage, and how you can do your part to conserve. Take time to reflect on all the local and foreign communities without a drop of safe water to drink. Take time to reflect on the technologies available out there that can make a difference.

And how timely is it that we launched a commercial in the heart of Times Square in New York today? It can be seen at least once an hour in the upper left screen on THIS webcam. If you find your self wandering through Times Square over the next couple of months and see it, please take a picture and share it with us.

Some facts from the World Water Day website.

Water, Economy and jobs

• Improving  water  productivity  to  close  the  worldwide  gap  between  supply  and  demand  for  water  will  cost  US$50-­‐60  billion annually over the next 20 years. With private sector investment comprising about half of that spending, positive returns could be expected in just three years (Boccaletti et al., 2009).
• It is estimated that 95% of jobs in the agriculture sector, 30% of jobs in the industry sector, and 10% of jobs in the services sector are heavily dependent on water. It is estimated that 5% of jobs in the agriculture sector, 60% of jobs in the industry sector and 30% of jobs in the services sector are moderately dependent on water. Nonetheless, not every job in the various subsector categories is equally dependent on water.
• An estimated 40% of the global economically-­‐active population work in crop and animal production, fisheries or hunting. Yet, only 20% are employed as waged workers (World Bank, 2005), and the remaining are self-­‐employed or contribute family labour to around 570 million farms.
• Worldwide, some of the most water-­‐intensive industry sectors employ great numbers of people: 22 million in food and drink (with 40% women), 20 million in chemical, pharmaceutical, and rubber and tyres, as well as 18 million in electronics.
• Water  supply  and  wastewater  facilities  operators  employ  about  80%  of  the  workers  in  the  water  industry  (UNESCO-­‐UNEVOC, 2012).
• The  energy  sector,  with  growing  water  withdrawal  that  currently  accounts  for  about  15%  of  the  world’s  total,  provides  direct employment.

Global perspectives on water

• Freshwater withdrawals have increased globally by about 1% per year since 1980’s, mainly due to growing demand in developing countries.
• Water resources are under pressure, with water scarcity affecting around 40% of the global population (CAWMA, 2007).
• An estimated 663 million people lack ready access to improved sources of drinking water (WHO/UNICEF, 2015).
• Between 2011 and 2050, the world population is expected to increase by 33%, growing from 7.0 billion to 9.3 billion (UN DESA, 2011), and food demand will rise by 70% in the same period (Bruinsma, 2009).
• Agriculture accounts for roughly 70% of total freshwater withdrawals globally and for over 90% in the majority of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (FAO, 2011). Without improved efficiency measures, agricultural water consumption is expected to increase by about 20% globally by 2050 (WWAP, 2012).