According to this Slashdot article, there is confirmation that there is water on Mars. Vast amounts of water.
Step one is complete. Now we need to move to step two: sending people there to die.
I don't mean to say that we should send people hoping that they die. I'm saying that when we send people to Mars, lots of them are going to die. I believe that the first successful colony on Mars will incorporate parts from previous, unsuccessful missions. We just have to steel our hearts against the nearly endless tragedies that will come inevitably from what will be the hardest thing man has ever done.