World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

This year’s theme relates to the International Year of Water Cooperation the theme is ‘Water water everywhere‚ only if we share.’

The objective of World Water Day 2013 is to focus international attention on some of the great outcomes that occur when Governments agree to cooperate in the management of their water resources while nurturing further cooperation worldwide.

This day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro‚ Brazil.

President Asif Ali Zardari’s message on World Water Day

World Water Day celebrated each year throughout the world on March 22nd is aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of judicious use and conservation of water. I am pleased that Pakistan has also joined the international community today to raise awareness of the challenges in sustainable management of freshwater resources.

The call this year on World Water Day “Water‚ Water Everywhere‚ Only if We Share” is most appropriate to promote cooperation at all levels in managing the dwindling drinking water resources. Heeding the call for conservation and judicious utilization of water and sharing it with others is a catalyst for promoting peace and development and for protecting the environment.

Availability of water is most critical for sustaining life; indeed it is life itself. Ensuring access to safe drinking water therefore has been accorded very high priority by the Government of Pakistan. Statistics indicate that Pakistan is well on the track to meet its drinking water targets‚ set under the Millennium Development Goals‚ by 2015. This has been made possible by increased public spending on drinking water resources and management by the Government despite serious economic constraints.

The government has also devised National Drinking Water Policy and National Drinking Water Standards. The Policy places special emphasis on establishment of new drinking water systems‚ up-gradation of existing schemes‚ water conservation‚ quality improvement‚ water treatment and on water sector Management Information System. It is reassuring that the Ministry of Climate Change is coordinating with the provincial governments the implementation of this policy.

I take this opportunity to reiterate continued commitment of the Government of Pakistan in ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water for all and to promote greater international cooperation around water. I also compliment the Ministry of Climate Change for taking this initiative to raise awareness about cooperation around water in the country.

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