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Announcement of the Honourable Minister for Environment for the year 2012-13

SEIAA & SEAC Formation



An appeal from the Director of Environment in view of the

World Water Day 2017


       World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.

        Under the theme ‘Water and Wastewater’, the year 2017 provides an important opportunity to consolidate and build upon the previous World Water Days to highlight the symbiosis between water and wastewater in the quest for sustainable development.

At present, more than 80% of wastewater produced is pumped back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. Despite most of the world's population being expected to live in cities by 2050, most – especially in developing countries – do not have the infrastructure or resources needed to manage wastewater.1.8 billion people (more than a quarter of the world's population) use a source of drinking water that is contaminated by faeces. This places them at risk of a host of deadly diseases including dysentery, cholera and polio. It is estimated that unsafe water and poor sanitation kills 842,000 people every year.An area of land roughly equivalent to the size of Sri Lanka is irrigated with wastewater or polluted water. This causes health problems in the farmers working on the land, and eventually the people who consume the products they produce. Water, sanitation and hygiene could prevent 9.1% of the global disease burden – and an estimated 6.3% of all deaths. Improved water sources reduces the number of deaths from diarrhoea by 21%, while improved sanitation can reduce it by 37.5%.According to the USGS, the average person uses up to 100 gallons of water per day. 95% of this goes down the drain – meaning each person wastes between 76-95 gallons every day. Despite most of the planet being covered by water, most of it is not available for human use.

If the Earth's water fitted into a four litre jug, just one tablespoon would be available freshwater. World Water Day aims to increase people's awareness of the water's importance in all aspects of life and highlights the symbiosis between water and wastewater in the quest for sustainable development.

          On this day, I urge everyone to take responsibility for joining hands with common people, Government Department, NGOs and people of all the walks of life to conserve water through adapting the waste water treatment, recycling, reusing, rainwater harvesting technology etc.,.