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Opinion Pieces Recognize World Water Day 2013

World Water Day is recognized on March 22 to raise awareness of water and sanitation issues worldwide. This year also marks the International Year of Water Cooperation, according to the World Water Day website (3/22). The following opinion pieces address issues surrounding access to safe water and sanitation services.

  • Barbara Frost, CNN: “Over the last two decades an incredible two billion people have gained access to clean drinking water for the first time, so it’s not such a pipe dream to argue that we should reach the remaining 783 million by” 2030, Frost, chief executive of WaterAid, writes. “The difficulty will be that those who currently don’t have access to this essential resource are the most difficult to reach, the most marginalized, the poorest, and the most politically disenfranchised. But that is also why getting water to those without is so important,” she adds, noting the release of WaterAid’s report “Everyone Everywhere” (.pdf) (3/22).
  • Rev. James Kowalski/Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Huffington Post “Religion”: “Not prioritizing the global water crisis defies humanitarian needs, and it defies logic,” Kowalski and Bemporad write, adding, “But perhaps the greatest shame of all is this: the problem is solvable.” They continue, “Water is the singular symbol shared among every world religion. Who better to take the advocacy lead than the faiths? What’s missing is us.” They conclude, “Together, the faiths can impact millions of lives and be a monumental example of multi-faith cooperation at its life-giving best by making water a source of life and health, for all” (3/22).
  • Jane Labous, Huffington Post U.K. “Politics”: Journalist and press officer for Plan International, Labous describes her experience with a lack of running water during a stay in Senegal, writing, “World Water Day is a time to pause and appreciate a substance that is available to us so freely and cheaply in the developed world. It is a day to address the fact that 783 million people in the world do not have access to clean water — representing roughly one in 10 of the world’s population.” She concludes, “Water is the most precious substance on earth; let’s work to make sure everyone on earth has the luxury of using it” (3/21).
  • Richard Valeriani, Huffington Post “World”: Former NBC News correspondent Valeriani describes the efforts of several organizations to improve water and sanitation worldwide and notes that the U.S. State Department in March 2012 “established the U.S. Water Partnership, which is described on its website as uniting and mobilizing ‘U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address water challenges around the globe’ and to facilitate public/private cooperation and coordination” (3/21).