No matter who we are, where we are, and what we do, we are all dependent on water. We need it every day, in so many ways. We need it to stay healthy, we need it for growing food, for transportation, irrigation and industry. We need it for animals and plants, for changing colours and seasons. However, despite the importance of water resources in our lives and well-being, we are increasingly disrespectful of them. We abuse them. We waste them. We pollute them, forgetting how essential they are to our very survival.

2003 is a year of opportunity. It is a year for us to focus our attention on protecting and respecting our water resources, as individuals, communities, countries, and as a global family of concerned citizens. 2003 is a year for action and reflection. During this year we have a chance to mend our ways, to take stock and make a difference. By protecting our freshwater, we help to ensure our future and our planet's long-term prospects.

Join us in celebrating the International Year of Freshwater 2003. Send us your information, ideas, news, documents, images and testimonies, anything that could be shared with others around the world.

Let's make a big splash!

  • Brochure on International Year of Freshwater

  • Press Release: UN Launches International Year of Freshwater (PDF)

  • Message of the Secretary-General for the International Year of Freshwater

  • General Assembly Resolution A/RES/55/196 declaring 2003 The International Year of Fresh Water

  • GA report (A/57/132) Secretary-General's Report to the General Assembly in preparation for

  • The International Year of Freshwater

  • GA Resolution A/RES/56/192

  • Status of preparations for the International Year of Freshwater

  • Graph on Water Consumption

  • Backgrounder: Freshwater: Action on the Ground (PDF)

  • Fact Sheet: Water: A Matter of Life and Death (PDF)

  • The UN System in Brief: Working for Freshwater (PDF)


  • UNESCO official site of the International Year of Freshwater 2003