World Water Day Observed

 World Water Day Message from Achim Steiner

22 March 2009: On the occasion of World Water Day, which was observed on 22 March 2009, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) highlighted the potential benefits of investing in the world's freshwaters, including the potential benefits to the global economic recovery and to accelerating a response to climate change.

UNEP further underscored the opportunities for businesses, noting that the market for supply, sanitation and water efficiency is expected to be nearly US$660 billion by 2020, and that global economic benefits of US$38 billion annually could be reaped from investing US$15 billion annually in halving by 2015 the number of people without sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation.

Also on the occasion of World Water Day, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Luc Gnacadja, released a message noting that prudent water management “means solving at the same time two of the most crucial challenges that dryland communities face and that go hand in hand: the reversal of land degradation processes and the simultaneously unsustainable management of water resources.” He said the UNCCD promotes measures that enhance sustainable environmental and natural resources management, including through seeking to prevent desertification, land degradation and the effects of drought (DLDD), which unleash more and more forced migrations, raise the possibility for conflict over scarce resources and worsen the impact of natural disasters. [UNEP Press Release] [UNCCD Executive Secretary's statement]