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Tomorrow, March 22, is World Water Day, an event established by the United Nations in 1993 to highlight the challenges associated with this precious resource. Each year has a theme, and this year's is "Water and Food Security." The UN estimates that more than one in six people worldwide lack access to 20-50 liters (5-13 gallons) of safe freshwater a day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. And as the world's population grows beyond 7 billion, clean water is growing scarcer in densely populated areas as well as in remote villages. Collected here are recent images showing water in our lives -- how we use it, abuse it, and depend on it. [36 photos]

A journalist takes a sample of polluted red water from the Jianhe River in Luoyang, Henan province, China, on December 13, 2011. According to local media, the sources of the pollution were two illegal chemical plants discharging their production wastewater into the rain sewer pipes. (Reuters/China Daily)

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WINDOW ON THE WORLD: Doreen Friese, mother of two sons, looked through a broken window of her children’s room in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, Monday. At least four people were injured and houses were severely damaged during a heavy thunderstorm with hail and mudslides. (Peter Ending/European Pressphoto Agency)

STATE OF SHOCK: Joseph Mwangi, 34, lay in a state of shock after he discovered the charred remains of his two children at the site of a fiery gasoline pipeline explosion that killed dozens in a slum of Nairobi, Kenya, Monday. (Ben Curtis/Associated Press)

WATER DROP: A plane dumped water near buildings in Marbella, Spain, Monday. Hundreds of firefighters worked to extinguish a forest fire that forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes. Officials said the fire broke out Sunday and that most of the evacuees have since returned home. (Sergio Torres/Associated Press)

FENCE CLIMBERS: Laborers work at the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project site in Ahmedabad, India, Monday. (Ajit Solanki/Associated Press)

GANESH DUNKED: People climbed atop a statue of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh that was dunked in Tank Bund Lake in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, to mark the end of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. (Krishnendu Halder/Reuters)

POLISHED POOL: A worker polished a section of a reflecting pool at the National September 11 Memorial in New York Monday. The former World Trade Center site opened to the public Monday for the first time since the terrorist attacks 10 years ago. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

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