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Celebrating water for life: The International Decade for Action 2005-2015: Previous page | 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13

Collect information: Why Water for Life?



UN General Assembly Declares 2005–2015 the International Decade for Action Water for Life

The UN General Assembly resolution strongly urges communication and social mobilization at both the global and national levels. While much of global and regional water and sanitation communication to date has been directed, quite successfully, at mobilizing resources and strengthening political and governmental commitment, there is an urgent need to intensify these efforts that are specifically directed at increasing societal commitment and participation. Much more still needs to be done. Safe water supply and adequate sanitation to protect health are considered fundamental human rights. As of today, there are still almost 1.1 billion people who have inadequate access to water and 2.6 billion without appropriate sanitation. For more information, please visit:

Key messages:

  • 83% of the world's population are using improved drinking-water sources, but 1.1 billion people are still without access to safe drinking-water.
  • Progress in sub-Saharan Africa was impressive, moving from 49% coverage in 1990 to 58% in 2002. But at this rate it will not be sufficient to meet the MDG target by 2015.
  • More than half the world's population use water piped to their homes, which frees them (mainly women and girls) from the drudgery of water collection and protects their health.
  • Without a sharp acceleration in the rate of progress, the world will miss the sanitation target by half a billion people.
  • An estimated 2.6 billion people — half of the developing world — lack access to improved sanitation.
  • Despite major progress in South Asia, little more than a third of its population use improved sanitation; access to adequate sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa is only 36%.
  • Global population growth is cancelling many of the gains already made. Though more than a billion people gained improved sanitation between 1990 and 2002, the population without coverage declined by only 100 million.
  • From now until 2015, greater effort must be made to reach the poor and those in rural areas, whose deprivation is hidden behind national averages.

Useful web sites

International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005-2015


UN General Assembly Resolution

World Water Day

International Water and Sanitation Center (IRC)

Ideas for Water Awareness Campaigns (ISDR, UNEP, UN)

Water, Sanitation and Health web site at WHO

Water and Sanitation Program (World Bank)

Environmental publications from UNEP and key international organizations

Meeting the MDG drinking-water and sanitation target: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme report on progress

Health care waste

Sanitation connection

Household water network

Water associations worldwide

International Water Association (IWA)
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7654 5500. Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7654 5555 E-mail:
Inter-American Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (AIDIS)
Tel: + 55 11 3812 4080. Fax: + 55 11 3814 2441. E-mail:
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Tel: + 1 703 295 6000. Fax: + 1 703 295 6222. E-mail:
Australian Water Association (AWA)
Tel: + 61 29 413 1288. Fax: + 61 29 413 1047. E-mail:
American Water Works Association (AWWA)
Tel: + 1 303 794 7711. Fax: + 1 303 795 1440. E-mail: Public:
Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
Tel: + 44 171 8313110. Fax: + 44 171 4054967. E-mail:
European Water Association (EWA)
Tel: + 49 22 42 872 189. Fax: + 49 22 42 872 135. E-mail:
New Zealand Water and Wastes Association (NZWWA)
Tel: + 64 9 6363636. Fax: + 64 9 6361234. E-mail:
Water Environment Federation (WEF)
Tel: + 1 703 684 2452. Fax: + 1 703 684 2450. E-mail:

This resource sheet is designed specifically for World Water Day 2005 and will be valid throughout the decade 2005–2015. Each year for every new theme on World Water Day, a new resource sheet will be prepared. They will form an integral part of the Advocacy Guide and will be added to it. During any major conference or news breaking story relating to water, a new resource sheet will be tailored to provide all organizers with the relevant one page information.

Celebrating water for life: The International Decade for Action 2005-2015: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 | Next page


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