Friday, March 18, 2011

World Water Day

Hello everyone-

World Water Day is coming up on March 22:  Organized by the United Nations, the purpose of the day is to spread awareness about the importance of fresh water, and advocate for the "sustainable management of freshwater resources" on a global level.

The 2011 theme is "Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge," a particularly pertinent topic for Atlanta. For the first time in world history, the majority of the world's population now lives in cities, which presents particular challenges, including flood control, providing clean water for city residents, and removing wastewater.  Many cities are growing faster than their infrastructure - some cities, especially in the developing world, are unable to to build systems and access water resources quickly enough to provide for new growth.  Some cities are not investing enough money in the system to keep up with the rate of urbanization (a lesson Atlanta is learning).  And new issues will arise as cities continue to grow, water scarcity increases, and the effects of climate change become more pronounced.  Yet cities also offer us opportunity - the chance to take advantage of economies of scale to use water more efficiently.  As we look towards solutions, the first shift we can make is to look at water resources on a river basin or watershed level.

What are you doing to spread awareness?

Also, a side note - happy St. Patrick's Day.  I'm curious what the impact is of all that dye dumped into urban rivers.  (Photo taken by John J. Kim, Chicago Sun-Times.)

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