There is no life without water. Yet it is not often mentioned that the availability and sustainable management of water has a direct link with the creation of quality jobs. The theme of 2016 World Water Day – Better water, better jobs – aims to highlight how water can create paid and decent work while contributing to a greener economy and sustainable development.

Today, almost half of the world's workers, or about 1.5 billion people, work in water-related sectors. Around 650 million people (one in 10 of the world's population) do not have access to safe water, putting them at risk of infectious diseases and premature death. Dirty water and poor sanitation can cause severe diarrhoeal diseases in children, killing 900 under-fives a day across the world, according to United Nations estimates – or one child every two minutes.

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 A child carries water home through a brick factory on the outskirts of Yangon Myanmar once known as the 'rice bowl of Asia' because of its agricultural richesYe Aung Thu/ AFP

The availability and quality of water has a direct impact on workers' lives. Every year over 340,000 workers die because of inadequate water supply and sanitation. Fishermen depend on the quality of fresh water, while a farmer's job depends on the ability to manage the available freshwater. In factories, 38 workers die from water-related diseases every hour, which can be prevented with cleaner water and sanitation.

Women and often children have to trek for hours every day to bring home water for their families. However, despite its importance, it is a chore which is not remunerated nor recognised. However, if availability of water was guaranteed, they could be learning skills that would help them to find better work. This is why the 2016 World Water Day theme — water and jobs — is so important. It is focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.

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13 January, 2016: A Kashmiri fisherman throws out his net from his boat on Dal lake during dense fog in SrinagarTauseef Mustafa/ AFP
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11 July, 2007: A man cleans away dead fish at a lake in Wuhan, central China's Hubei provinceReuters
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29 June 2012: A boy lies in muddy water in Pokhara valley, west of Nepal's capital KathmanduNavesh Chitrakar/ Reuters
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28 November 2007: An Indian labourer drinks water at an aluminium reprocessing unit in Dharavi, Asia's largest slums in MumbaiArko Datta/ Reuters
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13 April 2007: A man searches through debris in polluted water looking for items to salvage after a fire in a slum in Malabon, north of ManilaDarren Whiteside/ Reuters
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1 May 2015: A motorcyclist negotiates away from piles of foam at Varthur Kodi junction situated in east Bangalore. The innocuous-looking foam is toxic effluent caused by the polluted sewage water overflowing from nearby Varthur LakeManjunath Kiran/ AFP
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19 March, 2015: A father and son paddle on a makeshift boat made from styrofoam through a garbage filled river as they collect plastic bottles to sell on in junkshops in Manila Noel Celis/ AFP
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25 April 2007: A labourer cleans an underground sewage in DhakaRafiqur Rahman/ Reuters
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22 May, 2011: A wastewater treatment plant is submerged by the Yazoo River floodwaters near Yazoo City, Yazoo County, MississippiMario Tama/ Getty Images
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5 November 2004: A worker from the Maynilad Water utilities struggles to install a valve underwater on an excavated Manila's main water line as part of an upgrade of the water distribution systemRomeo Gacad/ AFP
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11 January, 2011: A girl carries water back to her home in an area for displaced Sudanese in the southern Sudanese city of Juba, SudanSpencer Platt/Getty Images
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7 December 2008: A boy carries water for domestic use he fetched from an untreated well which has been a major source of cholera in Harare, ZimbabweDesmond Kwande/ AFP
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24 November, 2012: A young Rohingya girl carries water to her tent at a IDP camp on the outskirts of Sittwe, MyanmarPaula Bronstein/ Getty Images
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1955: A Rhodesian woman carries her baby on her back and a pail of water on her headGetty Images
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25 January 2002: A girl carries potable water to her home in GomaPedro Ugarte/ AFP
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2 December 2004: Indian Kashmiri girls carry water pots on their heads in the outskirts of Srinagar, KashmirSajjad Husaain/ AFP
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8 April 2015: Jolene Bertetto, a water conservation technician with East Bay Municipal Utility District, takes a water sample from run-off in a neighborhood in Oakland, California. Bertetto was conducting investigations into waste water and sources of water leaks as the state's top water regulators released a framework for enforcing California's first statewide mandatory restrictions on urban water useRobert Galbraith/ Reuters
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22 April 2015: Glasses depicting raw sewage, plant effluent filtered and recycled water are displayed during a ceremony to break ground on the Terminal Island's Advanced Water Purification Facility in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles, CaliforniaBob Riha Jr/ Reuters
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19 February 2016: A man cuts a fish at the fishermen's dock in La Libertad, El SalvadorJose Cabezas/ Reuters
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4 February, 2016: A local fisherman holds fishes during a protest to demand the increase of their fishing limits outside the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Bangkok, ThailandChaiwat Subprasom/ Reuters
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25 December 2016: Fishermen screen the contents of their nets for glass eels in the early hoursBilly H.C. Kwok/ Getty Images
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3 March 2016: Kenyan fisherman pull up their nets in the early morning as they fish on Lake VictoriaCarl De Souza/ AFP
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November 2 2015: A fisherman throws a fish during the traditional carp haul in the village of Smrzov, near the south Bohemian town of Trebon, Czech RepublicDavid W Cerny/ Reuters
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8 January 2016: An Indian farmer stands on a cart pulled by a horse during foggy weather in JalandharShammi Mehra/ AFP
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15 March, 2016: A farmer harvests broccoli in the town of al-Ansariyeh south of Sidon, LebanonAli Hashisho/ Reuters
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2 March, 2016: Farmers putting dry paddy into bags for sale in Vi Thuy, in the southern Mekong delta province of Hau GiangAFP
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28 May 2007: A woman from the San Jose de Aymara community washes native potatoes during harvest in Huancavelica, PeruEitan Abramovich/ AFP
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18 April 2011: An employee of the National Forestry Commission carries a chainsaw in a burnt area near Cancun, MexicoGerardo Garcia/ Reuters
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10 September 2015: A helicopter carries water to be dropped on a burning forest at Ogan Komering Ulu area in Indonesia's south Sumatra provinceBeawiharta/ Reuters