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7 whimsical, wonderful images of water

March 21, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
Woman's hand in the water

Photo: espejo/Flickr

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Water everywhere, but should you drink it?

About 7 billion people inhabit the planet right now — and by the year 2050, 2 billion more will join us. Meanwhile, experts estimate that as many as 3.575 million people die each year from water-related diseases. (That’s as many people who live in the city of Los Angeles.) And did we mention that 884 million people do not have access to clean water? Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 World Day for Water. Every year on this date, the United Nations and member nations promote clean water initiatives to bring awareness of the fragile state of our freshwater systems. (Click here for a complete list of events worldwide.) We’re celebrating with a whimsical look at the wet stuff — and a reminder of why we need to protect it. (Text: Katherine Butler)