Monday, 17 June 2013

World Day to Combat Desertification - 17th June (Theme : Don't Let Our Future Dry Up - Water Conservation)

World Day to Combat Desertification - 17th June  (Theme : Don't Let Our Future Dry Up)

I am back with yet another awareness post . Today (17th June) is observed as the "World Day to Combat Desertification". It is annually observed on June 17 to highlight the urgent need to curb the desertification process. It also aims to strengthen the visibility of the drylands issue in the global arena.

History :
Drought. Source: stock.xchng

In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The assembly acknowledged that desertification and drought were global problems because they affected all regions of the world. The assembly also realized that joint action by the international community was needed to combat desertification and drought, particularly in Africa.

States were invited to devote the World Day to promote awareness of the need for international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought, and on the implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification.  Since then, country parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders celebrate this particular day with outreach activities worldwide on June 17 each year.
Desert. Source: Stock.xchng

Theme for 2013 :

Every year , a theme will be pronounced by the UN, as such the theme for the current year (2013) is " Don’t Let Our Future Dry Up "  aims at promoting awareness about the water scarcity, Desertification & Drought.

Areas where we use large amount of water : 

• 1/3 of household water is used to flush the toilet 

• Bath 80 litres (16 buckets) 

• 5 minute shower (not power shower) 35 litres (7 buckets) 

• Brushing teeth with tap running 6 litres/min (1.2 buckets) 

• Brushing teeth with tap off 1 litre (0.2 buckets)

• Dripping tap 140 litres/week (28 buckets) 

• Washing machine 65 litres (13 buckets) 

• Dishwasher 20 litres (4 buckets) 

• Washing car with bucket 10 litres (2 buckets) 

• Hosepipe/sprinkler 540 litres/hour (108 buckets) 

Figures based on bucket with 5 litres capacity

Few tips on Saving the water :

Eventhough, the majority of planet earth is water, only 2.5% of it can be used as drinking water. It is just a smaller portion but worrying fact is that, of all this freshwater, the total usable supply for ecosystems and humans is less than 1 per cent. The below map published by the UN tells it all. If you can see, all the states of India comes under the categories of "Physical Water Scarcity, Approaching physical water scarcity & Economic water scarcity"
Map of Water Scarcity across the globe. Source:

Hence, it is the need of the hour to atleast save the available water for the better tomorrow. Let me share few things / tips which can help us to save water right from our house hold level : 

  • Shorten your showers to less than 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face. A running tap uses on average four litres per minute. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save 13 litres a day
  • Leaky shower head? A dripping faucet can waste up to 7,600 liters of water a year. Check the plumbing in your house and repair the leaks as soon as possible
  • Try to invest in low-flush toilets and shower heads . We can save thousands of gallons of water each year
  • Reduce your use of pesticides and fertilizers, and look for safer alternatives to control weeds and bugs. Lawn and garden pesticides and fertilizers can pollute the water
  • Turnoff your sprinklers in your garden / lawn when it’s raining. On average, 50% - 70% of household water is used outdoors for watering lawns and gardens
  • Avoid installing ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless they use re-circulated water
  • Washing Machines can use 55 litres of hot water per cycle. If you wait till there’s a full load, you can save around 58 litres a week
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin or a partly filled sink - not under running water
  • Use Microwave, steam, or  pressure cooker to cook vegetables. It will retain more flavor and use less water than traditional boiling
  • The water we supply to our plants evaporates due to high temperature of air in day time. So, we should water plants in early morning or evening timings(when the air temperature is low) so that water supplied to the plants do not evaporate
Conclusion :

This is not just a one day affair. Let it be a beginning for a better tomorrow. Let us save water from now on, so that we don't face any troubles in the future. Lets share and spread the awareness.

References :,,,,


Very well written and nice thought. I am sure it will serve the purpose... creating more awareness is the key. Lets hope for the best. Thanks.

Thanks Aamjunta. Thanks for your comment, it motivates me to write more awareness posts. will do it !

Very informative. Let the awareness spread all over.

Thanks Sushmitha. Please share it to spread all over :)

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