Every year, tens of thousands of cubic feet of wastewater are produced globally, and while the water can be reused productively for energy and irrigation, it usually is not.

Taking its cue from this issue, the theme for March 22’s World Water Day is to communicate water quality challenges and opportunities.

In developing countries, 80 percent of all waste is discharged untreated because of lack of regulations and resources, according to WWD officials. Population and industrial growth add new sources of pollution and they also increase demand for clean water. Although human and environmental health, drinking and agricultural water supplies for the present and future are at stake, water pollution rarely warrants mention as a pressing issue, WWD notes.

The overall goal of WWD 2010’s campaign is to raise the profile of water quality at the political level so that water quality considerations are made alongside those of water quantity.

The international observance of WWD every March 22 grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. For more information, go to www.worldwaterday.org.