NEW YORK — In preparation of the adoption of a new post-2015 sustainable development agenda for the U.N. in September, World Water Day 2015 addresses the vital role of water, according to a message from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“We rely on water for public health and equitable process,” said Ban Ki-moon in the World Water Day message. “It is essential for food and energy security, and it underpins the functioning of industries."

Ban Ki-moon continues in the message that climate change, a spike in population growth for many areas and the growing demand on finite water resources are “hastening a water crisis that can only be addressed by cross-sectorial, holistic planning and policies,” regionally and internationally.

Access to safe drinking water and sanitation, the U.N. secretary-general adds, is one of the most current urgent issues, with approximately 750 million people, more than one in 10 of the world’s population, without access to clean water and around 2.5 billion people living without “improved sanitation.”

Climate change is also impacting the world’s sustainable future, reports Ban Ki-moon, which is why this December in Paris, the U.N. Member States are working toward a “meaningful, universal climate agreement.”

“To address the many challenges related to water, we must work in a spirit of urgent cooperation, [be] open to new ideas and innovation, and [prepare] to share the solutions that we all need for a sustainable future,” notes Ban Ki-moon in the message. “If we do so, we can end poverty, promote global prosperity and well-being, protect the environment and withstand the threat of climate change.”

Read the entire message on World Water Day from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon here.