22 March 2009
Today is World Water Day 2009, en Español, Dia Mundial del Agua 2009, sa Tagalog o Pilipino, Pandaigdigang Araw ng Tubig 2009.
This year's theme is "Shared Water - Shared Opportunities. Emphasis is placed on transboundary waters, that is, waters shared between two or among several states. The main goal is to help build mutual trust and respect thereby promoting peace and common economic growth.
Here's some information from the World Water Day 2009 official website:
- Over 40 percent of the world’s population resides within internationally shared river basins.
- There are 13 basins worldwide that are shared between 5 to 8 countries.
- Five river basins, the Congo, Niger, Nile, Rhine and Zambezi, are shared between 9 to 11 countries.
- The total number of water-related interactions between nations are weighted towards cooperation. There have been 507 conflict-related events as opposed to 1,228 cooperative ones. This implies that violence over water is not a strategically rational, effective or economically viable option for countries. In the 20th century, only seven minor skirmishes took place between nations over shared water resources, while over 300 treaties were signed during the same period of time.
- The history of international water treaties dates as far back as 2500 BC, when the two Sumerian city-states of Lagash and Umma crafted an agreement ending a water dispute along the Tigris River.
As you can see, even though the tendency is towards cooperation, the potential for conflict among countries that share transboundary waters should be a cause for concern.
But we don't really need to go very far to realize that safe drinking water is really such a scarce resource. There are places such as Dagat-dagatan (a big area straddling the cities of Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas) that is awash in water many times during the year and yet, as far as access to clean water is concerned, that is also a perennial problem.
After just a brief tour of the online resources and reading materials available on the subject of world water, I quickly realized that one can immerse one's self into this subject and virtually drown in the sea of information.
So I'm now bringing forward this proposal to my comrades in Bloggers Unite (this is the website where I first learned about this important day through a tip from filipinamom), especially to the entire group of 48 participants (that includes myself and Marvia, the organizer.
Why don't we agree, among us, to declare 22 March 2009 - 21 April 2009 as World Water Month 2009?
Since we've done this now and put up our individual posts, we might as well lengthen the Day into a Month so we can explore this topic further, give it greater exposure and probably, put up another water-related blog before the Month is over or update the one's we've already posted. What do you think?