2012 World Water Day Celebrated All Over The World

April 16, 2012

This year’s World Water Day (WWD) was celebrated on March 22nd with the slogan  “The World Is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry”. The day reflected the United Nations’ goal to increase  global awareness of the important link between water and food security and the amount of water used in food production, as opposed to for drinking. While each of us needs to drink 2 to 4 litres of water daily, it takes 2000 to 5000 litres of water to produce one person's daily food.

Numerous organizations, governments and businesses marked the day with a wide range of activities. From Berlin to Sao Paulo and Paris to Dubai, people across the world shared  their concern for the world’s natural water resources.

Berlin…

The exhibit “No life without water (Kein Leben Ohne Wasser)” was officially opened at the Berlin Water Gallery on March 22nd and will run until May 3. 

The exhibit, curated by Adelheid Graf, explores the essentiality of water and the relationship between water and life. It  features a variety of media, including collage, glass, installation, painting, photography, video and woodblock printing created by eight artists: a Columbian painter who currently lives in the United States; an Indian painter who teaches Hinduism at the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main; a Vietnamese ceramicist, installation artist, painter and sculptor who lives in Heidelberg; and five German artists.

London…

Events in London included a free Film Night screening of the documentary ‘Paraiso for Sale’,  delivered by Tourism Concern at London Metropolitan University on Holloway Road.

On March 23 the “Ocean Of Song” concert took place at St John at Hackney, welcoming people to sing to raise waves of awareness and funds for WaterAid, an international NGO aiming at transforming lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's pooorest communities.

Paris…

To mark the connection between food production and water, demonstrators near the Eiffel Tower in Paris spelled out “1 steak” with bottles of water weighing 1,500 litres. This was to highlight that a 100 gram piece of steak requires 1,500 litres of water to produce, from the birth of the cow to the meat's final destination on a dinner plate.

The Catholic community of the Marais district holds an annual festival to promote relationships between believers and non-believers. This year, the theme of the festival was water. Through various conferences, concerts and exhibitions, visitors discovered the strong symbolic scope of water throughout the history of Christianity. The event also dealt with current issues such as sustainable water management and tidal energy.

European Public Health Alliance and Access to Water and Sanitation

On occasion of the World Water Day, the European Public Health Alliance EPHA released a statement “Access to water and sanitation is a human right, not an ordinary commodity”.

In its statement EPHA encouraged policy makers and citizens alike to join and sign the  European petition on Water and Sanitation asking for the European Union to help achieve universal access to water and sanitation within and outside the European Union. The collection of signatures is expected to be officially launched at the end of April.

We Are Water Foundation initiatives

Based in Dubai, the We Are Water Foundation had planned diverse inititives aimed at strengthening the UN message on water and food security, taking place among other in Spain, France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Poland, Bulgaria, Dubai and Italy.

Moreover a series of actions spreading awareness of the hydratic cost of producing food took place in cities such as London, Rome, Sofia, Lisbon, Sao Paulo and Prague. For example in Rome a poster was installed near the fountains of Piazza del Spagna, comparing the amount of water required for making a common food item such as a hamburger or a pasta dish with the amount of water contained in the fountain. In Washington D.C. the documentary “Aral: The Lost Sea” participated in the Environmental Film Festival. The documentary narrating one of the world's greatest environmental catastrophes is directed by Isabel Coixet and its world tour has been supported by the Foundation for over a year.

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