World Water Day is marked on 22 March every year to raise awareness of the water crisis facing much of the world's population. The UN estimates that more than 663 million people do not have a safe water supply close to home. Instead of turning on a tap, they must spend countless hours queueing or trekking to sources of water. This water is often contaminated, putting people at risk of infectious diseases and premature death.
People gather to fetch water from a huge well in the village of Natwarghad in the western Indian state of Gujarat Reuters
Dirty water and poor sanitation can cause severe diseases in children, killing 900 under-fives every day across the world, according to United Nations estimates – or one child every two minutes.
Among newborn babies, the World Health Organisation says infections caused by a lack of safe water and an unclean environment cause one death every minute somewhere in the world.
The theme of
World Water 2017 is "Why waste water?" The vast majority of wastewater from homes, cities, industry and agriculture around the world flows back to nature without being treated or reused – polluting the environment, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. WWD2017 aims to promote the need for reducing and reusing wastewater for things like irrigation and cooling.
To mark World Water Day 2017, IBTimes UK presents 60 powerful photos to remind us that one in ten people don't have access to clean, safe water.
A woman leads her donkeys loaded with jerrycans past the carcass of a domestic animal that died due to severe drought in Baligubadle village near Hargeisa, Somaliland Red Cross/Reuters A woman fetches drinking water from a well along the dried-up Chemumvuri river near Gokwe, Zimbabwe Reuters Residents collect drinking water from a lake in Dala township, near Yangon, Myanmar AFP Children collect water from a swamp in Mwea, Kenya AFP People collect water from a muddy waterhole in San Marcos Tlacoyalco, Mexico Getty Images A slum dweller keeps an eye open fro trains as she collects water for drinking from a puddle in between railway tracks in Mumbai Reuters Slum dwellers collect drinking water from a submerged hand-pump after heavy rains in the northern Indian city of Allahabad Reuters Bottles tied to ropes are lowered into an almost dry well in Bhaktapur, Nepal Reuters A plastic container with a corrugated metal sheet placed on top to collect rain water is seen in Petare slum in Caracas, Venezuela Reuters A schoolgirl tries to collect water from a dried-up puddle in Nongoma north west of Durban, during a drought in South Africa AFP A Bangladeshi woman collects contaminated water to rinse produce at a vegetable market, from the polluted Buriganga in Dhaka AFP A child fills a jerrycan with dirty water in Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital Damascus AFP People collect water along a dried-up river bed in Somalia's Shabelle region Reuters A boy collects water from a shallow well dug into the sand along the dried-up Shabelle River in Somalia Reuters Women fight as they collect drinking water from a municipal tanker on a hot summer day on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India Reuters Women and children queue to fetch water in Agatu-Obagaji, Benue State, north central Nigeria AFP The carcass of a caiman lies in the dried-up bed of the Pilcomayo river in Boqueron, Paraguay Reuters Boys collect recyclable items from polluted waters at Fish Harbour in Karachi, Pakistan Reuters A boy drinks water from a pipe in the rebel-held besieged town of Douma, east of Damascus, Syria Reuters A devotee carries a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh through the polluted waters of the river Yamuna in New Delhi, India Reuters A man drives a boat along a polluted river in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China Reuters A girl sits on a boat on a dried-up pond in the drought-hit Kandal province in Cambodia Reuters A farmer waters a plant in Playitas town, Nicaragua, during a severe drought Reuters Rsidents are seen along a polluted canal running alongside houses in a slum area of the Indonesian capital Jakarta AFP A man bathes in the polluted waters of the river Yamuna in New Delhi AFP A woman walks on the dried-up bed of Chandola Lake in Ahmedabad with a metal pot on her head to fetch water AFP Beloni bathes his six-year-old son on a small street in Cite Soleil in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince AFP Members of the Zionist Church perform a ritual along the heavily polluted Klipspruit River in Lenasia, Johannesburg AFP A father and son paddle through a rubbish-filled river as they collect plastic bottles that they can sell in junk shops in Manila AFP Children push a cart to collect water in an area by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
North Koreans wash their laundry as others skate on the ice on the Yalu river near the border with China Reuters A boy bathes on the side of the road in the southern Indian city of Chennai Reuters
Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants who were found drifting at sea collect rain water at a temporary shelter in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state AFP A boy bathes under a communal tap near a polluted water channel early one morning in Kolkata, India Reuters A woman carries jerry cans to fill them with water from a communal tap in Yemen's capital Sanaa Reuters A migrant worker carries water for drinking and cooking from a public tap at a migrant workers' village in Beijing Reuters A man carries buckets filled with water on the banks of the river Ganges in Allahabad, India Reuters Residents use an improvised raft to cross a sewage canal at a slum in Mumbai Reuters A man fills barrels with potable water from a tanker truck at Lomas de Carabayllo, a shantytown north of Lima, Peru Reuters A man drinks water from a pump in a flooded area of Nowshera district, in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province AFP Pedestrians cover their noses as they cross a bridge over a polluted canal in east Bangalore, India AFP Somalian refugees return from collecting water at the edge of the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya Getty Images A girl from the war-torn Blue Nile state collects water from a muddy pond in South Sudan's Doro refugee camp Reuters A boy drinks coloured water from a pond in Bule Duba village, near the edge of Oroma and Somali regions of Ethiopia Reuters Displaced people carry water containers on their heads at Tomping camp, near South Sudan's capital Juba James Akena/Reuters Children bathe in waste water at a slum in Jakarta, Indonesia Reuters A girl collects water from a hole in the ground in the Tariq district of the Saddam city neighbourhood of Baghdad Reuters A girl uses a submerged hand-pump to fetch drinking water during floods at Dhuhibala village in the northeastern Indian state of Assam Reuters Villagers carry pitchers filled with drinking water after visiting a well at Meni village in the western Indian state of Gujarat Reuters A man, marooned by flood water along with his his livestock, waves towards an Army helicopter for relief handout in the Rajanpur district of Pakistan's Punjab province Reuters A villager walks past a caked pond in the drought-hit Shilin County of Kunming, Yunnan province, China Reuters A man wraps a cloth around himself after a ritual dip in the polluted Yamuna river in New Delhi Reuters Residents crowd around the only standpipe in Mabella slum in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown Reuters A man collects water from a storage tank on the outskirts of Suining, southwest China's Sichuan province Reuters Women collect drinking water from a shallow bed of the Siang River at Berasapori village, some 560 kms from Guwahati, the capital city of India's northeastern state of Assam AFP A girl fetches murky water from a hole dug near a barren well in Jamam, South Sudan AFP A woman collects a sample of red polluted water flowing from a sewer into the Jian River in Luoyang, north China's Henan province AFP Children push a cart with water containers along a bombed-out street in Aleppo, Syria Reuters The fingers of malnourished one-year-old Alassa Galisou are pressed against the lips of his mother Fatou Ousseini at an emergency feeding clinic in the town of Tahoua in northwestern Niger. One of the worst droughts in living memory destroyed much of the crop, leaving an estimated 3.6 million people short of food, including tens of thousands of starving children Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters
World Water Day is observed on 22 March every year to celebrate water and raise awareness of water-related issues. One of the ideas behind having a special day is to make people think twice about how much water they waste. People who have plentiful access to water are encouraged to try not turning on their taps all day. Water is a finite resource that is fundamental to human well-being. Don't waste it. See also: 35 stunning nature and wildlife photos that capture the beauty of our world