For many people, and especially those living in the developed countries, the freshwater that flows from our taps could hardly be taken more for granted. So accustomed have we become to safe and reliable supply that we rarely ponder what makes this basic essential of modern life possible. It is essential we protect future water security. This is in relation to the importance of integrated approaches and joined-up solutions. Maintaining future water supplies is bound up with a wide range of other challenges, including climate change, energy security, food production, continuing population growth, urbanization and rising living standards.
Rain that fell on Iceland anything from 500-1000 years ago is only now being drunk - and some of it in gin and tonics. The rain that lands on lava rocks slowly soaks beneath the surface, and so dense and extensive are the layers of rock that the rainwater takes several hundred years to drip through.
The obvious waste of an ice-bucket dunking is in poor taste given that São Paulo is suffering a severe drought at present. In parts of the state, the reservoirs are dry and cracked and all non-essential water use is banned. Where I live things are not quite so bad, but the local papers warn week after week that we are also on the cusp of extreme rationing.
The story of two teenage girls raped and murdered in India this spring while looking for a discreet place to relieve themselves outdoors made headlines around the world. Sadly, their situation is far from unique. Half a billion women and girls - 15% of females worldwide - are forced to do this every day simply because they do not have access to a toilet. This crisis risks women's health, and threatens their safety. The new Indian government was moved to act following the tragedy of the two Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh, pledging zero tolerance for acts of violence against women. Their statement is welcome. However, protecting women from harassment and attack will not happen overnight.
Traces of cocaine in our tap water, screamed recent newspaper headlines in the UK. It's alarming, despite reassurances that these are miniscule amounts that pose no risk. But imagine the headlines were about deadly pathogens like E. coli or cholera, and that even these miniscule amounts could harm adults and kill children.