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H2O03 Freshwater competition open

H2O03 Freshwater competition open - Photographers can take part in a national competition this summer to celebrate the UN International Year of Freshwater.

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Photography competition celebrates UN International Year of Freshwater

Photographers can take part in a national competition this summer to celebrate the UN International Year of Freshwater.

Organisers of the UK initiative to mark the Year, called H2O03, are asking both children and adults to photograph a freshwater site local to them. Information on how to get involved can be found on the website: www.H2O03.org.uk.

"We're interested in any site - from small ponds to streams, lakes and rivers - as long as the entrant feels strongly about it," explained H2O03 organiser Rob Flavin from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "It could be a place where people walk, work or fish, or even use as an educational resource.

"We will select the images that best represent the diversity of freshwater locations in the UK and upload them onto a website to be launched in September. This National Collection will demonstrate the importance of these locations to people and wildlife - and the need to protect them.

"There will be great prizes for the best photographs including holidays at Center Parcs, trips to Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centres and hundreds of pounds-worth of photographic equipment."

Rob Flavin is convinced that people should value water, and not just see it as something that comes out of a tap.

"Freshwater is so fundamental to all our lives, it is important that people connect with the subject and H2O03 will help to do that," he said. "There are a myriad ways in which freshwater has an impact on our lives. For example, we use it for leisure pursuits, as a workplace and it is a home for wildlife. Floods and droughts can affect us too and climate change will have a major impact on quality and resources."

H2O03 activities have been designed to put people in touch with a range of freshwater issues, according to Mr Flavin, who acknowledged that the UK also played an important role in helping to provide access to safe water overseas.

"The international dimension to the UN Year must also be stressed," he said. "Over 1 billion people in the world lack access to safe water and 2.4 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. A child dies every 15 seconds from diseases associated with lack of access to these basic resources.

"H2O03 is running a national writing competition on the theme 'Water for all - who cares?' to encourage people to become engaged on this issue. People can also take part in an art competition on the theme of freshwater."

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