663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources.

IN 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.

The theme for World Water Day 2017 is ‘Why waste water?’ and discussions will take place around the following issues:

• Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.

• 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842 000 deaths each year.

• 663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources

• By 2050, close to 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, compared to 50% today. Currently, most cities in developing countries do not have adequate infrastructure and resources to address wastewater management in an efficient and sustainable way.

• The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.

• The costs of wastewater management are greatly outweighed by the benefits to human health, economic development and environmental sustainability – providing new business opportunities and creating more ‘green’ jobs.