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World Water Day is observed on March 22 every year. The day to recognize the importance of earth's most precious natural resource was proposed 20 years ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. While we often take water for granted, many cannot. And water plays a role in almost everything we do. We drink it, wash in it, play in it, generate power with it, irrigate crops with it, travel and transport goods on it, fight fires with it, and worship with it. Gathered here are images of water from the last year in all its uses, in scarcity and in abundance. -- Lane Turner (48 photos total)
A child bathes from a public tap in his neighborhood in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on March 6, 2012. A UNICEF report says unhygienic conditions cause an estimated 1. 2 million child deaths before the age of five from diarrhea worldwide every year. The report says in urban areas access to improved water and sanitation is not keeping pace with population growth. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press)

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A man wades through flood water in Calumpit, Bulacan, north of Manila on September 28, 2011. The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Nesat climbed to 18 as thousands of people battled widespread flooding and another storm bore down on the country. Rescuers reported two more deaths overnight, while 35 others remained missing, after [...]

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Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China. In Pakistan, more than 5 million people have been affected by recent flooding, according to the aid agency Oxfam. Pakistan is still struggling to recover from the devastating monsoon rains in 2010. -- Lloyd Young(36 photos total)
A village boy sits on the banks of the swelling Daya River, near Pipli village, about 25 kilometers from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneshwar Sept. 9. The flood situation in Orissa state worsened with the release of more water downstream from Hirakud dam, according to a news agency. A high alert has been sounded in 11 districts of the state. (Biswaranjan Rout/Associated Press)

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A Pakistani woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road holding an axe to cut wood, in Digri district near Hyderabad, Pakistan. The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed for $357 million in foreign donations to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods.

One year from the country’s worst-ever floods that left more than 21 million people in need, Pakistan’s southern plains have been inundated again, with some parts of Sindh province swamped with more water than last summer.

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A Pakistani woman displaced by the floods walks along a flooded road holding an axe to cut wood, in Digri district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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This photograph taken from a Pakistani Army helicopter shows flood affected villagers seeking refuge on a dry patch in the flood-hit Sanghar district of Sindh province on September 19, 2011. The United Nations and Pakistani government appealed for $357 million in foreign donations to urgently help more than seven million people swamped by a second year of catastrophic floods. One year on from the country's worst-ever floods that left more than 21 million people in need, Pakistan's southern plains have been inundated again, with some parts of Sindh province swamped with more water than last summer. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Pakistani boy, right, reaches for his bowl after crossing a flooded field in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani woman stands in floodwater as she removes belongings in her house following heavy monsoon rain in Hyderabad on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. AFP PHOTO / YOUSUF NAGORI #

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, a displaced Pakistani man gestures to Pakistani army officers as they deliver rice and sugar to flood victims, in Badin District, in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani family member stands between patients suffering from the mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever, at a local hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities who are already under pressure to help hundreds of thousands of flood victims, struggling to contain dengue fever which has killed many people and around 4,400 cases have been reported, officials said. (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash) #

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Local residents wade through a flooded street following heavy monsoon rains in Quetta on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. AFP PHOTO / BANARAS KHAN #

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, displaced Pakistanis run through flood water to pickup bags of rice and sugar delivered by the Pakistani army, in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Pakistani Navy personnel distribute aid to flood-affected villagers in Jhudo district on September 16, 2011. The United Nations said that it was stepping up aid to Pakistan, where monsoon floods have killed 270 people, affected over 5.5 million others and destroyed 1.1 million homes. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

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Pakistani flood affected peoples line up for relief supplies at a distribution point on the outskirts of Badin on September 18, 2011. In Pakistan's fertile south, a grim-faced soldier found himself in a standoff with 100 flood-stricken protesters demanding help for their communities marooned by the surging water. The UN and Islamabad on September jointly issued an emergency funding appeal for 357 million USD to shore up rescue and relief efforts. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

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A displaced Pakistani girl sleeps on a bed as she and her family take refuge on a roadside in Tando Allah Yar, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani child, his face covered with flies, lies on the ground as he and his family take refuge on a roadside in Tando Allah Yar, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Displaced Pakistani Orung Zeeb, 1, sleeps in a hammock attached to a bed his mother laying on, as they take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Displaced Pakistani Shahinaz Afser, 8, stands inside her family's tent in a relief camp set by the Pakistani army in Kaloi, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani woman displaced by floodwater, carries a young boy while crossing a flooded way, in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. The United Nations appealed for $357 million Sunday to help millions of Pakistanis affected by floods that have damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and destroyed millions of acres of crops. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Pakistani flood affected villagers arrive at a safe place in flood-hit Badin district in Sindh province on September 13, 2011. Pakistan called on the world to speed up relief efforts after torrential rains exacerbated major floods, killing 270 people and making another 200,000 homeless in the south of the country. Local officials say devastation in parts of the country's main breadbasket is worse than last year, when a fifth of the country was left under water by the country's worst ever floods that affected a total of 21 million people. AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN #

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In this photo taken from a helicopter, Pakistani farmers look up while working in their partially flooded fields in Pakistan's Sindh province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani youth, crosses a flooded field carrying tree branches, in Mirpur Khas in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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An aerial view shows the tents of people displaced by flooding in a relief camp in Kanri Village district Umarkot on September 24, 2011. A United Nations food agency launched an appeal for 18.9 million USD September 23 to help farmers in southern Pakistan hit by floods it said were even more disastrous than last year. AFP PHOTO/Rizwan TABASSUM #

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A displaced Pakistani man pushes a bed through flood water after fleeing his home in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani boy, center, looks on as he and others collect water from a tanker in Umerkot District in Pakistan's Sindh province, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Flood victims camped out near inundated fields and crowded hospitals on Monday as authorities and international aid groups struggled to respond to Pakistan's second major bout of flooding in just over a year. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A displaced Pakistani child looks on while being held by her mother as they and others take refuge in a college in Tando Muhammad Khan near Hyderabad, Pakistan, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. Pakistani authorities are unsure how many people are still stranded by floods that first hit Pakistan in August following unusually heavy monsoon rains and have affected at least 5.4 million people. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Displaced Pakistani Nelo Fotah, 10, sits inside his grocery stall, where he and others take refuge on a roadside after fleeing their homes in Tando Allah Yar district near Hyderabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Flood victims camped out near inundated fields and crowded hospitals on Monday as authorities and international aid groups struggled to respond to Pakistan's second major bout of flooding in just over a year. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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A Pakistani flood effected child cries beside a makeshift tent on the high ground of flooded area of Jhudo on September 16, 2011. Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani cancelled a visit to the United States to address the UN General Assembly because of widespread new floods, his office said. Heavy rains in the fertile southern province of Sindh have caused flooding that has so far killed 289 people and forced 400,000 others to leave their homes, one year after the country suffered its worst-ever floods. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN #

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Displaced Pakistani Shanmaha Radow, 37, sits with her daughters, Reemo 4, left, and Zuma, 2, as they take refuge on a roadside in Tando Jam, in Pakistan's Sindh province, after fleeing their flood-hit homes, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. In Pakistan's Sindh province alone, the floods have killed over 220 people, damaged or destroyed some 665,000 homes and displaced more than 1.8 million people, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Baluchistan province has also been affected. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

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Devastating floods, driven by unprecedented monsoon rains, began late in July 2010, leaving one-fifth of Pakistan submerged. The rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan directly affected 20 million people mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure. It left 2,000 people dead and 11 million homeless. In this post, we revisit some of those affected as the monsoon season approaches the region again. The last five images by Reuters photographer Adrees Latif (click on the image to fade the photograph) show us his subjects almost one year later, as he brought them back to the place where he photographed them during the 2010 flooding. -- Paula Nelson (34 photos total)
A female refugee passes a kettle of tea to her husband in preparation to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan at a camp for flood victims in Nowshera, northwest Pakistan on Aug. 2. The couple were forced from their home by floods last year that killed about 2,000 people and left 11 million homeless. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters)

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