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Columbia Water Center

The Columbia Water Center was established in January 2008 as a branch of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The center focuses on researching and addressing global water-related challenges, including water scarcity, access, quality and climate risks. The centers stated mission is to "creatively tackle water challenges of a rapidly changing world where water and climate interact with food, energy, ecosystems and urbanization," by combining "the rigor of scientific research with the impact of effective policy." The Columbia Water Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to water challenges, employing hydrologists, climatologists, environmental engineers, and water policy analysts. The director of the center is Upmanu Lall, the Carol Silberstein Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University. Pierre Gentine, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, also takes a leading role in the center, with his own PhD and Post-doctoral team focusing on the interactions between soil and atmospheric moisture. The center currently divides its projects into five themes, Americas Water, The Global Floods Initiative, Data Analytics and Multi-Scale Predictions, Risk and Financial Instruments and the Water, Food, Energy Nexus.


Peter Cullen (scientist)

The son of an engineer, Cullen got his start as a water expert very early in life when his father moved to Tallangatta to oversee that towns relocation to accommodate an expanded Hume Dam. Cullen studied agricultural science at the University of Melbourne and soon turned to detailed studies of irrigation and the problems it can bring to the land it makes productive.


Deep Springs International

Deep Springs International is a US nonprofit corporation, headquartered in Leogane, Haiti, which supports the establishment and expansion of Gadyen Dlo social enterprises. Gadyen Dlo has been produced and distributed in Haiti since 2002, originally supported by Emory University and the US Centers for Disease Control. Gadyen Dlo Haitian Creole for "Water Guardian" is a Haitian produced 0.7% sodium hypochlorite liquid solution used to chlorinate drinking water at "point of use." Gadyen Dlo is produced at four sites throughout Haiti. Gadyen Dlo is distributed to households in refillable bottles, preferably along with safe water storage containers. Several studies by MIT and Emory University have consistently shown that 65 – 85% of households had positive chlorine residual at the time of an unannounced visit. An evaluation in 2007 revealed 76% of tests conducted by technicians showed positive chlorine residual, and there was no significant decrease in correct use after more than three years of families’ entrance into the program. An independent evaluation in 2010 among 706 children under 5 documented a reduction in diarrhoeal disease incidence of 51%.


Dihydrogen monoxide parody

The dihydrogen monoxide parody involves calling water by an unfamiliar chemical name – most often dihydrogen monoxide but also dihydrogen oxide ", hydroxyl acid or hydroxylic acid – and listing some of waters well-known effects in a particularly alarming manner, such as accelerating corrosion and causing suffocation. The parody often calls for dihydrogen monoxide to be banned, regulated, or labeled as dangerous. It demonstrates how a lack of scientific literacy and an exaggerated analysis can lead to misplaced fears.


Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace

The Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace was created in 2015 in Geneva at the initiative of 15 co-convening UN Member States to analyse water in the context of maintaining peace and security and to move this issue from a technical to a political level. Chaired by Dr. Danilo Turk, the former President of the Republic of Slovenia, the Panel presented its landmark report, A Matter of Survival, in Geneva in 2017. The Geneva Water Hub, acted as Secretariat to the Panel.


Water for Life Decade

The United Nations General Assembly, in December 2003, proclaimed the years 2005-2015 as the International Decade for Action Water for Life’. Its primary goal is to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water related issues. In the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015. In March, 2019, the United Nations General Assembly declared the years 2018-2028 as the Water Action Decade. In order to help to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and in Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit of Sustainable Development WSSD the Decade focuses on water-related issues at all levels and on the implementation of programmes and projects, and the furtherance of cooperation at all levels. During the first UN Decade on Water from 1981–1990, it is estimated that more than a billion people gained access to safe drinking water. The primary goal of the Water for Life Decade is to promote efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015. These commitments include the Millennium Development Goals to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015 and to stop unsustainable exploitation of water resources. At the World Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, two other goals were adopted: to aim to develop integrated water resource management and water efficiency plans by 2005 and to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation. World Water Day, 22 March 2005, marked the official commencement of the Water for Life’ Decade.


Water justice



A waterbed, water mattress, or flotation mattress is a bed or mattress filled with water. Waterbeds intended for medical therapies appear in various reports through the 19th century. The modern version, invented in San Francisco and patented in 1971, became a popular consumer item in the United States through the 1980s with up to 20% of the market in 1986 and 22% in 1987. Currently they account for less than 5% of new bed sales.


World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day is an official United Nations international observance day on 19 November to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Worldwide, 4.2 billion people live without "safely managed sanitation" and around 673 million people practise open defecation. Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to achieve sanitation for all and end open defecation. World Toilet Day exists to inform, engage and inspire people to take action toward achieving this goal. The UN General Assembly declared World Toilet Day an official UN day in 2013, after Singapore had tabled the resolution its first resolution before the UNs General Assembly of 193 member states. Prior to that, World Toilet Day had been established unofficially by the World Toilet Organization a Singapore-based NGO in 2001. UN-Water is the official convener of World Toilet Day. UN-Water maintains the official World Toilet Day website and chooses a special theme for each year. In 2019 the theme is Leaving no one behind, which is the central theme of the Sustainable Development Goals. Themes in previous years include nature-based solutions, wastewater, toilets and jobs, and toilets and nutrition. World Toilet Day is marked by communications campaigns and other activities. Events are planned by UN entities, international organizations, local civil society organizations and volunteers to raise awareness and inspire action. Toilets are important because access to a safe functioning toilet has a positive impact on public health, human dignity, and personal safety, especially for women. Sanitation systems that do not safely treat excreta allow the spread of disease. Serious soil-transmitted diseases and waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery and schistosomiasis can result.

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