Secretary-General voices hope for access to safe drinking water for all

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced his hope to an international meeting on water, sanitation and hygiene that one day the world will no longer have to face the dire consequences of inadequate access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Africa should mobilize water resources as part of anti-hunger efforts, UN says

As the world struggles to feed a burgeoning population, Africa's use of water resources for agriculture is a small fraction of its potential and must be expanded to address poverty on the continent, the United Nations food production agency said today.

New guidelines issued by UN health agency aim to keep drinking water clean

New recommendations released today by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) aim to ensure the safety of drinking water supplies – everything from what is piped into homes to the rural wells provided to refugee camps in an emergency.

UN warns of ‘silent emergency’ over deadly lack of basic sanitation

With more than 2.6 billion people - over 40 per cent of the world's population – lacking access to basic sanitation, and more than 1 billion drinking unsafe water, the United Nations today issued a wake-up call to global leaders for urgent action now to meet ambitious goals set by the 2000 UN Millennium Summit.

Athlete swims entire Hudson River to spotlight UN Decade for Action on Water

Seeking to inspire citizens around the globe to protect their local waterways as part of the United Nations International Decade for Action on Water, long distance swimmer Christopher Swain today became the first person in history to swim the entire 315-mile length of the Hudson River.

UN expert panel on water and sanitation opens session with call for action

With 10,000 deaths worldwide every day caused by the absence of clean water or decent sanitation, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today told the inaugural meeting of a United Nations panel of experts on the issue that they must mobilize funds and raise public awareness to improve the basic living conditions of millions of people.

UN agency helps launch campaign to clean up world's seas

With 80 per cent of ocean pollution coming from land-based activities and half the coasts - home to 1 billion people - already threatened by development activity, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today took part in the launch of a new campaign to clean up the seas by ensuring that people have access to toilets and safe drinking water.

UN nuclear watchdog fights heavy water, sustains fresh water

The United Nations nuclear watchdog may well sniff out plutonium-producing heavy water in its war against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but in a less heralded programme it is also working to sustain dwindling freshwater supplies for the world’s thirsty masses.

Improving water and sanitation access would cost $11.3 billion more a year - UN

With the United Nations Millennium Declaration putting pressure on governments to halve the number of people lacking access to safe water and decent sanitation by 2015, a new report, sponsored by the UN health agency and launched today, estimates that the additional global investment needed will be $11.3 billion per year.

Poor sanitation a huge killer of children, UNICEF says on World Water Day

More than 5,000 children die every day from diarrhoeal diseases, often in areas hit by man-made or natural disasters, the head of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says in a message to mark World Water Day, whose theme this year is water and disasters.