Water scarcity, sanitation, Millennium Goals, climate change and a growing world population… What are the most pressing water issues the world faces today and why are they important to all of us? Why did the United Nations decided to declare 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation (Resolution A/RES/65/154) and what does this mean on both a local and national level and on an international level?
You can make a big difference without going to big conferences. Start at grass root level i.e You. The even enlists 50+ ideas on how to minimize the wastage of water. The event is not only for World Water Day but also whenever, wherever applicable. Please share this EVENT as much as possible. All the People are invited to this event to take initiative and SAVE every drop of water.
Do check out http://www.unwater.org
AND MY FAV8- www.watercooperation2013.org
For innovative ideas visit-http://wateruseitwisely.com
What to do:
When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
We're more likely to notice leaks indoors, but don't forget to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks.
Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it's still moist two inches under the soil surface, you still have enough water.
When buying new appliances, consider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments. They're more water and energy efficient.
Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you'll save up to 150 gallons per month.
Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models.
Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.
Use sprinklers for large areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
-Saket UN World Water Day Advocator
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Threats to biodiversity, spreading pollution, degraded river basins and disappearing forests are problems in most of the countries in the world, where climate change is knocking on the door. The poor are more dependent on natural resources and have less of an ability to adapt to a changing climate. Diseases, declining crop yields and natural disasters are just a few of the impacts of climate change that can devastate the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Youth and children, as the next generations, have the right to a clean future – Pick up any kid in a crowd and he/she would never wish to inherit a toxic, radioactive, dirty and carbon-driven world.
Of course young people like me are concerned, I think rightly much more than adults are, for the future of the world. “We have - most of us here - the sun on our backs, and they (youth & Children) have to face the sun and are very worried”.-Hugo Chavez
The youth today demands a clear definition of sustainable energy and time-bound targets for the implementation of a sustainable energy policy that will free us from respiratory ailments, air pollution, climate change and a radioactive legacy.
We also stand in solidarity with vulnerable communities, including low-income and marginalized groups, indigenous populations and those living in geographically vulnerable areas, which bear and suffer a disproportionate share of the impact of climate change. In the age of sensationalism, it is easier to propagate and digest news about pandas, elephants, great apes or whales dying as a result of hunting or habitat destruction than more complex stories of ecosystem degradation.
There is no point in changing the climate as it is hardly possible. So change the system.
-Saket Mani Youth Activist United Nations Environment Programme
What exactly are we waiting for? For the polar caps to melt or for the destruction of marine biodiversity? WHY are we waiting for the government to force us to change? Are we going to make changes that we know are needed!? What will it take to make us work together to live within the environmental limits of the Earth while meeting everyone’s needs? Youth have both special concerns and special responsibilities in relation to the environment.
A number of environmental risks and hazards affect young people, who have to live for an extended period with the deteriorating environment bequeathed to them by earlier generations. WE constitute a large part of the world’s population. Many, especially young children, are particularly vulnerable to environmental risks associated with, for example, access to clean and safe drinking water, especially in rural areas. In addition, WE will have to live longer with the consequences of current environmental decisions than our elders. Nonetheless, there are actions that can be taken and the deliberations are going on in full swing at The United Nations Conference on Biodiversity: COP11.
Aside from having a greater stake in the near future, WE are especially well-placed to promote environmental awareness simply because WE have better access to information about the environment than our elders. Established anti-ecological ways of thinking and behaving are not ingrained in young people, and they can introduce fresh ideas and outlooks to issues. Because young people have a stronger awareness of the issues and a greater stake in long-term sustainability, the environment is one area in which they ought to take the lead.
As a strong warning everyone should know if and when the damages appear on the earth it will be too late to reverse the process. So it would be criminal to sit with our hands on our lap, knowing that it jeopardizes our own future. I am convinced that environmental destruction won’t end unless people are presented with real solutions that are cost-effective and ecofriendly.
Someone told me : "Don’t ‘fight’ climate change. Don’t fight people. There are no bad people, only unconscious people. Don’t fight them. Give them a better option."
-Saket Mani Youth Activist United Nations Environment Programme
Drug use is an increasing problem among teenagers in today's times. Most drug use begins in the teenage years. These years are the most crucial in the maturing process. Adolescents are curious and venerable and there is peer pressure to experiment. The use of drugs by teenagers is the result of a combination of factors such as peer pressure, curiosity, and availability. One of the most important reasons of teenage drug usage is peer pressure. Peer pressure represents social influences that effect adolescents that can have a positive or a negative effect, depending on the person's social group. We are greatly influenced by the people around us. A person might try drugs just to fit in the social norms, even if a person has no intentions of smoking tobacco-less hookah, they might do it just to be considered "cool" by his/her friends.
The popularity of Hookahs may be due in part to perceptions that they are safer than cigarettes. However, non-tobacco hookah smoke contains nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar and heavy metals than cigarette smoke. We believe teens are turning their attention to hookah because they think it’s a glamorous and safe alternative to cigarettes. It’s not! Hookah could be creating a whole new culture of young people. In addition, many coffee shops and restaurants feature hookah smoking on their patios, and hookahs are increasingly available for purchase. They are a common fixture at parties and friends’ homes. It’s more of a social thing. Hookah lounges promote a social norm that smoking is cool and safe. They’re a training ground for going to bars, drinking and illicit drug use. The damaging effects of hookah on teens are extensive, well-documented, and can be observed from the cradle to the premature grave. People shouldn’t get tempted into doing something they don't want to, by peer pressure. If these people can't accept you because you don't do exactly what they do, then that’s their loss. They'll have plenty of time to reminisce about how cool they were at college with their hookah, and how sad you were not joining in, when they've got lung cancer and are stuck on oxygen and sleeping upright so they don't drown in their sleep, and can't walk across a room unaided.
The hookah smoke is flavoured so it smells sweet and attractive. Thus, a combination of low cost, social gatherings, peer pressure and perception of less risk makes hookah smoking very attractive. Its better late than never, so you could still stop it!
Therefore availability, curiosity and experimentation could result in drug addiction among teenagers. The problems of teenage drug use, depression and suicide are evident in our society. These are very real and threatening issues that have to be dealt with. Now in the 21st century we have to face the problems of our future generations. There are many non-profit organizations that help teenagers to cope with drug use. There are help lines, community services that offer information about drugs, and individual counselling is available almost in every education institution. There is help available to those who seek it. Would we ever be able to live in a drug free environment? Could we ever educate our future generations and peers so those drug problems would be non-existent? Hopefully the answer is “Yes! We Can”.
-Saket Mani (India)
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