In 2003 the United Nations declared 22 March as World Day for Water and it has been celebrated annually for the past ten years. The year 2013 has been declared the International Year for Water Cooperation. Water cooperation is a very important aspect of freshwater conservation because the water circulation cycle connects distant parts of the world. We are witnesses to this fact when a large low-pressure system brings us rain carrying desert sand from Africa. Many large rivers, lakes and aquifers often span the territory of several countries and regions. There are 267 international river basins in the world covering about 45% of land surface area and supplying water to some 40% of the world’s population living in 148 different countries. Managing such huge, shared freshwater resources requires a lot of coordination and cooperation. For example, the countries of central Asia have launched a project of intensive international cooperation aimed at curbing the trend of declining water quality. Cooperation between developed rural and urban regions has developed a system to use treated waste water (greywater) from urban areas for crop irrigation. Up to date more than 150 people from 75 countries have participated in workshops organized within this project.
For many years Public Institution “Priroda” has been cooperating with the Association “Our Children” of Rijeka and the Teaching Institute for Public Health to help educate the population, especially children and youths. This year a photography exhibition was organized. Entitled “W as in Water”, it features the photographs taken by young members of the Association “Our Children”. At the opening of the exhibition, Sanja Živković of the Teaching Institute for Public Health held an educational lecture entitled “The Quality of Water Springs and Drinking Water in the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar”. The members of the Children’s Forum of the Association “Our Children” performed a musical programme. Public Institution “Priroda” prepared a short questionnaire “Ecological Footprint Calculator” which was distributed to all visitors. By answering the questions, visitors can see how sustainable our lifestyle is and how much of our resources we are using.