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Notice to Readers: World Water Day --- March 22, 2001

In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development designated March 22 of each year World Water Day. This year's theme, "Water and Health," will be organized by the World Health Organization (WHO). The objectives of World Water Day are to focus attention on the problems related to the drinking water supply; the importance of conservation, preservation, and protection of water resources; and to increase participation by governments, international agencies, nongovernment organizations, and the private sector in World Water Day activities (1).

Approximately 1.1 billion persons do not have access to potable water, and 2.4 billion persons do not have acceptable sanitation. Diarrhea causes 4 billion episodes of illness and 2.2 million deaths every year; the greatest burden of illness occurs among children aged <5 years. Safe water, adequate sanitation, and hygiene education can reduce diarrheal disease mortality by an estimated average of 65% and related morbidity by 26% (2).

In response to the need for safe drinking water, CDC, in collaboration with the CARE/CDC Health Initiative, the Rotary Club of Estes Park, Colorado, the Gangarosa International Health Foundation, the CDC Foundation, and CARE has produced Safe Water Systems for the Developing World: A Handbook for Implementing Household-Based Water Treatment and Safe Storage Projects. This handbook was developed as a resource for program managers, technical staff, and other personnel in organizations involved in water and sanitation projects. The Safe Water System is a water quality intervention that uses simple, inexpensive technologies to improve water quality at the point of use.

Additional information about World Water Day is available from WHO and the International Water and Sanitation Centre's World-Wide Web site, http://www.worldwaterday.org*. Information about the Safe Water System is available from the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC, e-mail: safewater@cdc.gov, telephone (404) 639-2206, and on the World-Wide Web, http://www.cdc.gov/safewater.

References

  1. IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. World Water Day objectives. Available at http://www.worldwaterday.org. Accessed March 2001.
  2. World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund. Global water supply and sanitation assessment 2000 report. Geneva, Switzerland and New York, New York: World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund, 2000.

* References to sites of non-CDC organizations on the World-Wide Web are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites.



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References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.


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