Today is the UN – declared World Water Day celebrated internationally. March 22. Come tomorrow and the commitments and goals set by agencies across the world will just remain another traditional target or project outcome to be achieved. In reaching out to the numerous populations, all the humanitarian and development agencies see are numbers. The latest Joint Monitoring Project 2012 report released last month claimed to have achieved the Millenium Development Goal target for water, to halve the population without access to basic supply of drinking water. The week preceding world water day saw an international gathering of professionals in Marseilles, France, in 6th World Water Forum for redrafting and reaffirming the world that development concerns across the world remain unmet and so long as there is a gap in service delivery, international institutions will continue with greater commitment towards achieving this objectives. All it could claim was an increasing presence of civil society members across 80 countries mentioning and addressing the same concerns and solutions which are termed success stories yet are want of a sustainable model for growth in water and sanitation domain. Friends and colleagues who were part of the forum, came back feeling there is a rhetorical approach towards water and sanitation issues, while the larger issues of equitable distribution, quality and access remain non-committal concerns. Is there a need now to celebrate the achievements or look back at why the service delivery mechanisms have failed despite using a plethora of approaches ranging from top down demand driven programmes to bottom up, community driven approaches. There has to be a global paradigm shift in the approach to water and sanitation concerns of not just the developing world, but equally addressing practices and policy gaps in the developed industrialized nations.
Just to end this first blog report as part of my doctoral work on water and sanitation resilience in post disaster recovery, I would like to end with a quote by Leonardo da Vinci, “In time and with water, everything changes ” emphasising the critical role played by water in each and every life that it touches on this planet and elsewhere.