Sunderland Empire is lit up in blue to mark worldwide water campaign

The Sunderland Empire was washed with blue lights for the night to mark the event.
The Sunderland Empire was washed with blue lights for the night to mark the event.
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The Sunderland Empire's glittering lights turned blue for a night as it backed calls for access to water for all.

It comes as a new survey, conducted to mark World Water Day 2017, highlighted the nation’s favourite water-related songs.

Northumbrian Water’s Northumbrian WaterAid committee carried out the poll ahead of World Water Day, held annually on March 22 to raise awareness of the reality of life for hundreds of millions of people who still live without clean water or adequate sanitation.

The day was be marked by the Empire Theatre, in Sunderland, which followed the #Blue4Water theme and was lit up in blue to help highlight World Water Day.

More than 35 different songs received votes, ranging from seventies disco and country to grunge, with Guns ‘n’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’ topping the poll on 11.9%.

Second was ‘Purple Rain’, by Prince, on 7.6% of the vote, with Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ in third on 6.8%.

The Northumbrian WaterAid committee of supporters and employee volunteers holds events and conducts fundraising activity for the global charity WaterAid, which aims to deliver clean water and sanitation to all people everywhere in the world.

Currently, 663 million people live without safe water and 2.4 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation – that’s one in three of the world’s population.

Andrew Blakemore, chairman of the Northumbrian WaterAid committee, said: “Who says all the best songs are about love and heartbreak?

"This survey, to mark World Water Day, has shown there are some amazing tunes that deal with water in one way or another.

“World Water Day carries a serious message, and we hope some of these tunes help people to spend a few minutes thinking about the issues faced by the millions of people in the world who live without clean water or adequate sanitation.

“We’re hugely grateful for the support this week of Sunderland Empire, which went #Blue4Water on World Water Day.

"Turning the theatre blue for the evening – ironically during the performance of The Full Monty – really was a case of going #Blue4Water, helping people to be that little bit more aware of the issues WaterAid is tackling every day.”

Making up the watery top 10 are:

No. 1. November Rain (Guns ‘n’ Roses)

No. 2. Purple Rain (Prince)

No. 3. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)

Equal 4: It’s Raining Men (The Weather Girls)

Equal 4: Moon River (Andy Williams)

Equal 4: Waterfall (Stone Roses)

No 7: The River (Bruce Springsteen)

Equal 8: River Deep Mountain High (Ike & Tina Turner)

Equal 8: Cry Me A River (Justin Timberlake)

Equal 8: Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay (Otis Redding)

For more about WaterAid and World Water Day, click here.