World Water Day 2010 has the theme of "Clean Water for a Healthy World." (That link will take you to UN Water's website, well worth checking out.)
When I worked for the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group in Boulder, part of my job for over a decade was to create a 16-page quarterly newsletter filled with information that would be important to those interested in climate-related impact assessments. I had to write in a very dry and impassive fashion for this newsletter. Here's a link to a PDF of one of those newsletters, if you're interested (I'm not sure I would be, so don't feel bad if you don't go there. Won't hurt MY feelings.) But some places I visited for articles were the United Nations websites, because they have a very good collection of what's going on in the world of impact assessment. That's where I learned about World Water Day.
I learned also that in the future, water is more than likely to be a source of major worldwide conflict, because as we humans degrade more and more of the world's water, ramifications are felt throughout the entire ecosystem. According to the World Health Organization, each year an estimated 4 billion people get diarrhea as a result of drinking unsafe water. More than half of them die, mostly children under the age of five. This has been going on for a long, long time, but it's getting worse.
Those of us living in the United States think we're doing a good thing for ourselves by drinking a whole lot of bottled water. But we're not, actually. Did you know that the USA is the largest consumer market for bottled water in the world? Bottled Water has its own Wikipedia page, and is a very interesting read. It's scary, though: it can make you wonder whether you're paying too much for something that isn't necessarily better for you than what comes out of your tap. Not to mention the plastic from 50 billion bottles of water that are consumed each year, just here in the USA.
When I lived in Boulder, we went to a local natural spring and filled several five-gallon jugs with Eldorado Natural Spring Water, partly because I loved the taste of it, and partly because I didn't like the chlorinated stuff that came out of the tap. Here in Bellingham, we use a Brita filter for water from the tap and the water is fine, although not as tasty as what I was used to in Boulder. Some people think that you are better off not filtering your drinking water, since you lose some of the natural minerals in the water. But you know, that might have been true before the world had so many people. I don't think there are many places in the world where the water is actually drinkable without some kind of processing. Do you drink bottled water?