spacerThe Roundupspacer

march 22 marks global water day

Amidst the global turmoil we're currently experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is hard to read or hear any other news. But the very same global challenges that we were facing before the virus, are still facing us today.

Since 1993, World Water day – marked by the United Nations – is set to remind us of the importance of freshwater to every living organism on earth. This year's World Water day, perhaps unsurprisingly, focused on 'water and climate change' and, as described by the UN, "how the two are inextricably linked. The campaign shows how our use of water will help reduce floods, droughts, scarcity and pollution, and will help fight climate change itself."

Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup. It's important that during the coronavirus outbreak if you have access to water and soap, you should wash your hands frequently.

Read, Debate: Engage.

The good

Access to improved water sources is increasing across the world

Since 1990, the share of the world's population who has safe and continued access to clean water has risen from 76 per cent to 91 per cent as recorded in 2015, with that number estimated to be higher today.

Access to clean water is technically defined by "piped water on premises (piped household water connection located inside the user’s dwelling, plot or yard), and other improved drinking water sources (public taps or standpipes, tube wells or boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs, and rainwater collection). And while millions more globally now have this, 9 per cent of the population still do not.

As the world at large has raced toward clean water for all, a large chunk of the populations left without this basic human right includes those in Syria, Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt and Somalia.

Leaving no one behind is the main driver behind the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the world leaders. And that goes for the 9 per cent, too.

The bad

Our addiction to plastic is killing our oceans

Originating primarily from land-based activities and trickling through rivers and small water sources into the oceans, plastic waste impacts over 600 marine species and damages the health of both animals and humans.

The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organisation founded by 18-year-old Boyan Slat, is developing eco-friendly technologies that aim to reduce 90 percent of plastic waste from the oceans by 2040.

The organisation’s method is twofold: intercepting plastic waste in rivers and preventing it from reaching the oceans, and cleaning up waste that already exists in the oceans.

Support its cause and find out how you can help:


Support The Ocean Cleanup

by Yair Oded

Support The Ocean Cleanup as it develops new technologies to stem the flow of plastic into the oceans and clean up the existing plastic waste.
Water on FairPlanet
fracking usa

EPA rolls back clean water protections

by Yair Oded

After lifting curbs on methane emissions, the U.S. government moves to roll back Obama-era protections of streams, wetlands, and other bodies of water.
Clean water

Cairo Water Week Conference has its work cut out

by Bob Koigi

It is increasingly becoming clear that the next biggest conflict in the world will be over a precious resource: water.

What are the effects of water pollution?

by Ama Lorenz

Water pollution is a serious environmental problem that not only affects human health, but also wildlife and our environment as a whole. From algal blooms to contaminated drinking water, the effects of water pollution can be devastating and wide-ranging.
water india

The ticking bomb of water scarcity in India

by Shadi Khan Saif

India is 3rd largest groundwater exporter, but 21 cities are running out of water by next year!
Country focus

Sitting on the edge of the Mediterranean sea and at the Suez Canal which connects Asia to Europe by sea. With an ancient history and civilisation as well as its role in recent politics, Egypt is a powerful and crucial nation in modern Middle-Eastern history. The country is rife with desert, with most of its cities and infrastructure build around the river Nile and its deltas.

Egypt has a population of close to 90 million and is considered the largest Arab nation. In 2011, the Egyptian Revolution which was part of the Arab Spring saw millions of protesters from a range of secular and religious backgrounds demand the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. This has led to a military coup, followed by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood which has ultimately been overthrown by current running President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, Egypt has been experiencing its worst human rights crisis in many decades according to Human Rights Watch. Tens of thousands of peaceful critics have been incarcerated by Egyptian authorities, many have been tortured or extra-judicially killed.

Constitutional amendments passed in 2019 have rigidified authoritarian rule, allowing the military to intervene openly in politics.

According to Reporters Without Borders, the crackdown on freedom of expression under President al-Sisi has reached new levels unparalleled in Egypt’s recent history.