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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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One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. In this post, I've included images from several slums including Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the second largest slum in Africa (and the third largest in the world); New Building slum in central Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Pinheirinho slum - where residents recently resisted police efforts to forcibly evict them; and slum dwellers from Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, India. India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi's population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai. -- Paula Nelson (55 photos total)
Cambodian lawmaker Mu Sochuo, from the opposition Sam Rainsy party, pleads with riot policemen to stop a forced eviction of villagers at a slum village in the centre of Phnom Penh, Jan. 4, 2012. Cambodian lawmakers from the opposition Sam Rainsy party visited the village after authorities forcefully evicted villagers from the Borei Keila community in the capital. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

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A man walks as snow and frozen wind billows cross the region, in Roncesvalles, northern Spain, Thursday Feb. 2, 2012. A cold spell has reached Europe with temperatures plummeting far below zero. Protesters demonstrate inside of a tent created by draping a tarp over a statue of Union General James McPherson at the Occupy DC [...]

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An Indonesian ethnic Chinese man prays during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration at Dharma Bakti temple in Chinatown in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Divers of the Nucleo Operatori Subacquei Guardia Costiera conduct a search and rescue operation that led to the discovery of the body of a woman inside of the ship [...]

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SNOWY IN SWITZERLAND
SNOWY IN SWITZERLAND: Snow covered a church, pictured from an aerial view, in Davos, Switzerland, Monday. The World Economic Forum opens Wednesday in the resort area. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

SOCCER SILHOUETTES
SOCCER SILHOUETTES: Youths played soccer on a beach in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Sunday. Equatorial Guinea will co-host the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament with Gabon. (Ariel Schalit/Associated Press)

SMILING NEAR A SHIPWRECK
SMILING NEAR A SHIPWRECK: People smiled as they took a picture on a rock in front of the Costa Concordia Monday. The cruise ship rammed into a reef off Giglio, Italy, Jan. 13. Salvage experts plan to pump fuel from the shipwreck. At least 15 people died in the accident. (Tony Gentile/Reuters)

TRUCKS IN TURIN
TRUCKS IN TURIN: A German truck driver shrugged as trucks were parked on a highway in Turin, Italy, Monday. Truckers blocked roads throughout Italy to protest an increase in gas prices, introduced as part of austerity measures. (Giorgio Perottino/Reuters)

IN SESSION
IN SESSION: Salafi parliamentary members attended the opening of Egyptian Parliament—the first session held since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak—in Cairo Monday. (Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)

LUNAR NEW YEAR
LUNAR NEW YEAR: A worshiper burned incense at the Lama Temple, one of China’s most renowned monasteries, on the first day of the Year of the Dragon in Beijing Monday. (Diego Azubel/European Pressphoto Agency)

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After an emotional run through the tournament that few predicted, Japan emerged yesterday as the unlikely champion of the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011. After enduring the triple disasters of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima Diaichi nuclear catastrophe, Japan rejoiced in the first good news in months. The final came in dramatic fashion against the United States in a penalty shoot-out after the score was tied 2-2 in regulation. Sixteen countries fought for the title in Germany, resulting in the first Asian world champion. Collected here are images of the games, fans, and celebration. -- Lane Turner (30 photos total)
Japan's midfielder Homare Sawa celebrates with the trophy and teammates after the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match against the US on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main Germany. Japan won 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the final had finished 2-2 following extra-time. (Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images)

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