Monday, 18 January 2021

UN in your language

Drop by drop: Still time to make a difference

DBD logo ENMore than 1,000 submissions have been entered into the “Drop by Drop: the Future we want”, the European Newspaper Ad Competition with about one week until the 29 February deadline to enter the comptetition.

“We are delighted that once again European “artivists” have answered our call, and have by the thousands shown how they care in a creative way, which we hope will inspire people to take action,” says UNRIC Director Afsané Bassir-Pour, the main organizer in partnership with the Brussels Office of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). “But we want more ads and although many of the ads are great, we want even more quality. There is still time to design an ad that can make a difference”

Already submissions have been entered from 40 of the 48 European Countries which are Member States of the UN.

The task in the Drop by Drop Competition is to design a Newspaper Ad to inspire others to preserve water for us now, and for future generation. Dozens of newspapers have joined the UN in a media partnership and many of them will publish the winning ad and other inspired entries to the competition.

The Nordic Council of Ministers, the organ of cooperation of the 5 Nordic countries, donates the first prize a 5,000 Euro cash prize which will be handed over to the winner at an award ceremony in Copenhagen. The Council of Ministers is among several institutions, NGOs et cetara, that will exhibit a sample of the Competition´s top ads.

The Drop by drop competition is a part of the Future We Want, the UN Global Conversation in the run up to the Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development in June this year.

Related Links:

cinema icon3 Questions to Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Member of the High-level Panel on Sustainable Development.


  • 97 % of earth’s water is in the oceans. Only 3 % of the earth’s water can be used as drinking water. 75 % of the world’s fresh water is frozen in the polar ice caps.

  • 884 million people still do not have access to safe drinking water. However, 1.7 billion have gained such access since 1990.

  • The average distance that women in Africa and Asia walk to collect water is 6 kilometres.

  • 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.

  • Each day 5,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diseases.

  • Average water use ranges from 200-300 litres a person a day in most countries in Europe to less than 10 litres in countries such as Mozambique

  • People living in the slums of Jakarta, Manila and Nairobi pay 5 to 10 times more for water than those living in high-income areas in those same cities and more than consumers in London or New York.

  • In Manila, the cost of connecting to the utility represents about three months' income for the poorest 20% of households, rising to six months' in urban Kenya.

  • In many places of the world, a staggering 30 to 40% of water or more goes unaccounted for due to water leakages in pipes and canals and illegal tapping.

  • The production of 1 kilogram of:
    o rice requires 3,000 litres of water
    o maize requires 900 litres of water
    o wheat requires 1,350 litres of water
    o beef requires 16,000 litres of water
  • Between now and 2025, it is expected that the world will need 17% more water to grow food for the increasing populations in developing countries and that total water use will increase by some 40%.


1st United Nations World Water Development Report 'Water for People, Water for Life' (WWDR1, 2003),
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) publication "Global Population and Water: Access and Sustainability"
and NASA Earth Observatory’s The Water Cycle