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Greening Our Blue Planet

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The UN 2023 Water Conference

March 22-24 | New York City


The first water-focused UN-summit in 46 years

UN Conference on Water Aims to Rally Support for Ambitious Goals

The last time the United Nations hosted a conference dedicated to global water supply and sanitation the world looked vastly different. Half as many people were alive. China’s economy was smaller than the United Kingdom’s

The centerpiece of the conference, which runs from March 22 to 24, is the “water action agenda,” a compilation of voluntary commitments from national governments, nonprofits, businesses, and intergovernmental agencies. Together these commitments extend beyond the conference walls, pushing leaders to be more careful, inclusive water stewards in the years ahead.

“It’s not what happens in three days... It’s what happens afterward.”

Facts: About 300,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water. These deaths could have been avoided by access to daily clean water

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a quarter of the global population, more than two billion people, lack access to safe drinking water.... 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services

Over half the global population, 4.2 billion people, lack safely managed sanitation services

in 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. So, for instance, everyone has the right to enough water for personal and domestic uses, which is between 50 and 100 liters of water per person per day.

Water plays a fundamental role in sustainable development

Global Commission on the Economics of Water (Read the Report)

The world is on the verge of a water disaster, with demand for fresh water predicted to outpace supply by 40% by the end of this decade

The lack of access to clean water is a solvable crisis, but it requires good cooperation

UN Conference on Water Aims to Rally Support for Ambitious Goals

Act to Make a Positive Difference


NASA Earth @NASAEarth

Water is a key to life. From space, our Earth-observing satellites help us track how different sources of it are changing.

New water missions, like SWOT and PACE, are taking NASA into the next decade.

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NASA is diving into the details of Earth's water and the life it sustains. This is thanks to its latest Earth-observing satellite missions: PACE and SWOT

PACE and SWOT provide significant improvements in the data they deliver. Data from both missions will help to untangle mysteries about our living ocean... and on land, too!

Global Biosphere

With a launch date in early 2024, PACE will extend and expand NASA's long-term observations of our living ocean. PACE will detect phytoplankton – tiny marine algae – at the ocean surface. Phytoplankton make up the base of the marine food web, supporting ocean fisheries. Thus their abundance is a prime indicator of our ocean's health.

That's only part of their contribution to the health of our planet. More than half of the oxygen production on Earth comes from the ocean with phytoplankton as vital contributors. Just as important, phytoplankton help draw carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) out of the atmosphere, helping to reduce atmospheric warming.

Phytoplankton are key players in drawing CO 2 down from our atmosphere. Their ability to export carbon to the deep ocean, a process that may reduce climate warming, is being studied by researchers around the globe.

PACE includes NASA's most advanced color sensor ever, the Ocean Color Instrument (OCI). What's so special about the OCI? It's designed to help identify phytoplankton community types from space! Previous ocean sensors detected only a handful of colors (i.e.,wavelengths), the OCI will cover a broad spectrum of wavelengths with no gaps, making it hyperspectral. By seeing the full rainbow of colors and beyond, PACE will monitor global phytoplankton distribution and abundance with unprecedented detail.

More about Phytoplankton and Earth System Science,

Oxygen Production, Ocean Life, Ocean Science and Atmospheric Science @GreenPolicy360

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The Commons

From Blue Mind:

There’s something about water that draws and fascinates us. No wonder: it’s the most omnipresent substance on Earth and, along with air, the primary ingredient for supporting life as we know it. For starters, ocean plankton provides more than half of our planet’s oxygen. There are approximately 332.5 million cubic miles of water on Earth—96 percent of it saline. (A cubic mile of water contains more than 1.1 trillion gallons.) Water covers more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface; 95 percent of those waters have yet to be explored.

From one million miles away our planet resembles a small blue marble; from one hundred million miles it’s a tiny, pale blue dot. “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean,” author Arthur C. Clarke once astutely commented.

That simple blue marble metaphor is a powerful reminder that ours is an aqueous planet. “Water is the sine qua non of life and seems to be all over the universe and so it’s reasonable for NASA to use a ‘follow the water’ strategy as a first cut or shorthand in our quest to locate other life in the universe,” Lynn Rothschild, an astrobiologist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, told me. “While it may not be the only solvent for life, it certainly makes a great one since it is abundant, it’s liquid over a broad temperature range, it floats when solid, allowing for ice-covered lakes and moons, and it’s what we use here on Earth.”

Whether searching the universe or roaming here at home humans have always sought to be by or near water. It’s estimated that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within sixty miles of the coastline of an ocean, lake, or river. Over half a billion people owe their livelihoods directly to water, and two-thirds of the global economy is derived from activities that involve water in some form. Approximately a billion people worldwide rely primarily on water-based sources for protein. (It’s very possible that increased consumption of omega-3 oils from eating fish and shellfish played a crucial role in the evolution of the human brain. And, as we’ll discuss later in the book, the seafood market is now global in a manner that could never have been imagined even a few decades ago.) We use water for drinking, cleansing, working, recreating, and traveling. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, each person in the United States uses eighty to one hundred gallons of water every day for what we consider our “basic needs.” In 2010 the General Assembly of the United Nations declared, “Safe and clean drinking water is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life.”

Our innate relationship to water goes far deeper than economics, food, or proximity, however. Our ancient ancestors came out of the water and evolved from swimming to crawling to walking. Human fetuses still have “gill-slit” structures in their early stages of development, and we spend our first nine months of life immersed in the “watery” environment of our mother’s womb. When we’re born, our bodies are approximately 78 percent water. As we age, that number drops to below 60 percent — but the brain continues to be made of 80 percent water. The human body as a whole is almost the same density as water, which allows us to float. In its mineral composition, the water in our cells is comparable to that found in the sea. Science writer Loren Eiseley once described human beings as “a way that water has of going about, beyond the reach of rivers.”

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Aquifers, globally and locally, earth science observations from space

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This category has the following 19 subcategories, out of 19 total.








  • Oceans(18 C, 86 P, 652 F)




Media in category "Water"

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