World Water Day

“To address the many challenges related to water, we must work in a spirit of urgent cooperation, open to new ideas and innovation, and prepared to share the solutions that we all need for a sustainable future.” – Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has highlighted access to safe drinking water and sanitation as two urgent issues related to freshwater. Over one in ten people of the world cannot access immediate freshwater, causing them to develop health risks and waste unproductive hours collecting freshwater from sources kilometres away. Moreover, sanitation is a crucial factor in social and economic development. Without proper sanitation, humans would contract many water-borne diseases, like the cholera outbreak in the UK, ages ago. Around 2.5 billion people live without adequate sanitation facilities, and a billion defecate openly, increasing the risk of water-borne diseases and bacterial contamination of freshwater sources.

A more significant threat also looms over the planet. Climate change has caused temperatures worldwide to increase, disrupting the natural freshwater cycle and causing prolonged droughts in some countries. Facing a water shortage can have a chain effect on the local economy and welfare.

The UN Conference on Environment and Development recommended a special day to celebrate freshwater. In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193, which declared 22nd March International World Water Day, effective in 1993. Member states of the UN were welcome to celebrate World Water Day by conducting concrete activities relevant to the local context to promote awareness of the importance of freshwater in the world. Members were free to construct their events, which could involve seminars, conferences, public viewings of documentaries, and many more.

Thus, on World Water Day, remember the preciousness of a drop of water. Picture someone without access, be grateful for living in the developed world and don’t take it for granted. Please support those trying to alleviate the issue, whether scientists or activists.

You don’t need to be a powerful or wealthy philanthropist to help tackle these issues; there are more straightforward ways to help. Save water at home, and remember not to waste it!