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A Thirsty World


A decade into the twenty-first century, 900 million human beings do not have access to safe drinking water. Every year, two million people − mainly children under five − still die as a result of drinking contaminated water.

The film that Yann Arthus-Bertrand will direct in association with the World Water Forum will pay tribute to the people in all parts of the world who are battling to improve the lives of the planet's poorest inhabitants. It will focus particularly on techniques for managing, saving and purifying water that can help us meet the challenge of providing decent living conditions for every one of the nine billion human beings expected to be sharing the planet in 2050.

In July 2010, the United Nations enshrined access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation as a fundamental human right. The UN Millennium Development Goals include ultimately supplying all human beings with these essential services. It will be a long road, but the goals are achievable − provided the political will does not falter and grassroots campaigns do not flag in their endeavours to achieve clean, pure water for all.

In the spirit of the Sixth World Water Forum scheduled to be held in Marseille in March 2012, the film will focus chiefly on constructive initiatives in all parts of the world, from large-scale, high-tech projects to modest local efforts. It will pay tribute to the men and women who are campaigning for all human beings to enjoy their fundamental human right to water and sanitation.

It will document new techniques, traditional water husbandry practices that are being revived, and efforts to rationalize use of water resources, and will plead for a radical change in the way we think about water so that everyone, including ecosystems, gets their fair share of water.


90’ – Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand