The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. A self adhesive stamp was issued by Correos (Spain) on this subject within the Civic Values series.
Water is a source of life and a critical resource for the development, health and wellbeing of human beings. It is known that the risk posed by climate change is increasing every day and freshwater scarcity affects every continent. The lack of safe water and its distribution is a major challenge of the 21st century affecting countries all over the world.
An estimated one fifth of the world population suffers from water scarcity and one quarter of the total population lives in countries lacking the necessary infrastructure to transport water from rivers and aquifers. Water scarcity is caused not only by natural causes but also by human action, as an uneven distribution, abuse and pollution of water result in an increase in water-scarce regions.
The declaration of 2013 as International Year of Water Cooperation wishes to raise awareness among countries and institutions on the need to strengthen cooperation on safe water issues and tackle the challenges of meeting the demands of access to safe water, transboundary water management, water equality and water supply.
The stamp depicts symbolically the idea of a glass of water, as an individual use of water, pouring onto an inverted tap, as a sign of scarcity and depletion.