Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Persons using assistive technology might not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, please send e-mail to: Type 508 Accommodation and the title of the report in the subject line of e-mail.

Announcement: World Water Day --- March 22, 2011

Bringing clean water to cities is critical to achieving a healthier and more prosperous world. Globally, residents of rural areas are moving into cities in record numbers. By the year 2050, an estimated 70% of the world's population will be living in urban areas (1). To highlight the water-related needs of these fast-growing cities and the subsequent challenges faced by governments and utility companies, the theme for this year's World Water Day, March 22, 2011, is Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge.

Many of the world's water systems are poorly maintained. More than half of the water might be lost to leakages and construction of illegal connections by nonpaying users (2). Even in cities with well-developed public water networks, the water might not always be safe to drink because of poor disinfection practices or because the water becomes contaminated once it is in the distribution network (3).

Water plays a key role in many goals of international development programs (2,4). Recent cholera outbreaks in Zimbabwe and Haiti highlight the potentially devastating consequences of deficiencies in urban water supplies (5,6). In addition to the physical health of the population, water availability and quality is fundamental for agricultural production, food safety, economic growth, educational opportunities, and environmental management. Additional information about World Water Day activities and CDC's efforts to improve water quality and prevent disease is available at and


  1. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). State of the world's cities 2008/2009: harmonious cities. Nairobi, Kenya: UN-HABITAT; 2008. Available at Accessed March 14, 2011.
  2. World Water Assessment Program. The 3rd United Nations world water development report: demographic, economic and social drivers. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and London, England: Earthscan; 2009. Available at Accessed March 14, 2011.
  3. Lee EJ, Schwab KJ. Deficiencies in drinking water distribution systems in developing countries. J Water Health 2005;3:109--27.
  4. United Nations. United Nations millennium declaration. Presented at the United Nations General Assembly, 8th Plenary Meeting. New York, NY; September 8, 2000. Available at Accessed March 14, 2011.
  5. World Health Organization. Cholera: global surveillance summary, 2008. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2009;84:309--24.
  6. CDC. Update on cholera --- Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Florida, 2010. MMWR 2010;59:1637--41.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #