Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17 - World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Of all the water on Earth, only 2.5% is freshwater. Only 1% of that freshwater is usable as supply for ecosystems and humans. When demand for water exceeds available supply, you have water scarcity.

Each person needs roughly 2000 cubic meters of water well-being and sustainable development every year; yet in the drylands, people typically have access to only 1300 cubic meters.

This year's theme is drought and water scarcity. The goal of the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification is to create awareness about the risks of drought and water scarcity in the drylands and beyond.

This year's slogan, "Don't let our future dry up", calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification, and drought. We are all responsible for water and land conservation and sustainable use. There are solutions to these serious natural resource challenges, we just have to find them.

So, take a moment today and think about what you can do to conserve water.

Today is also Stewarts Root Beer Day, and Ride to Work Day!

Here are some interesting things that happened on this day in history:

- The Carignan-Salières regiment of 1200 arrived from France to keep peace in Québec in 1665. It was the first time the military had played a role in the colonizing mission in New France.
- The fortress of Louisbourg surrendered to the English in 1745.

- Almost 1500 German settlers arrived at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1753. They built a palisade for defence on the present site of the academy, drew lots and planted some crops.

- Artist Paul Kane departed Toronto on a painting expedition of Canada's west in 1845.

- Physician Anna Hilliard, who helped devise a simplified Pap test and was the driving force in getting Women's College Hospital accepted as a U of T teaching hospital, was born in Morrisburg, Ontario in 1902.
- Though she was a passenger at the time (flying with pilot Wilmer Stultz), Amelia Earhart became the 1st woman to fly the Atlantic in 1928.
- 1 FBI agent, 4 cops, and 1 gangster were killed by a mob in what would become known as the Kansas City Massacre in 1933.
- The last public guillotining occurred in France in 1939. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in Versailles outside the prison Saint-Pierre.
- The fourth and fifth spans of the Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver collapsed as a result of an engineering miscalculation in 1958. 18 workers were killed.

- The Dusky Seaside Sparrow went extinct in 1987.
- Sheila Copps was re-elected to the House of Commons in a by-election in 1996, and on January 19 regained her assignment as Deputy PM.
- Canadian citizen Joseph Stanley Faulder was executed in Huntsville, Texas in 1999, the first Canadian executed in the US since 1952.
- The first day of legal same-sex marriage in California occurred in 2008.

Stay tuned for our next, "On This Day in History"!

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