World Water Day first began in 1993 and March 22nd 2023 marks the 30th annual event. A day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of this precious resource.
The theme for this year is ‘Accelerating Change’ to solve the water and sanitation crisis.
Water is essential to all life on Earth, and yet, it is often taken for granted. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of World Water Day and the challenges we face in ensuring access to clean and safe water for all.
Back in 2015, the world committed to the Sustainable Development Goal which was a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 everyone would have safely managed water and sanitation.
Access to clean and safe water is a basic human right, one which most of us take for granted yet millions of people do not have it. Currently, we're seriously off track with the SDG’s. 1 in 10 people lack access to safe water which is roughly 771 million people - 11x the population of the United Kingdom.
One of the primary reasons why people do not have access to water is poverty. In less developed countries communities simply cannot afford to pay for access to clean water meaning they have to resort to contaminated water.
In these countries, the infrastructure of the rural areas prevents clean water treatment and distribution, if there is distribution it can be too slow for everyday use once again forcing people to resort to unsafe water sources such as lakes and rivers. Additionally, political unrest can prevent people from accessing water safely, in some countries armed groups control the water sources making it dangerous for people to access water.
Climate change also plays a huge part in water scarcity. Climate change causes an increase in unpredictable weather and weather extremes such as drought. If you just type the word drought into the search bar there will be news articles from just a couple of hours ago discussing current droughts and extreme weather across the world. As I write this blog the recent drought-related news articles are titled ‘43,000 estimated dead in Somalia drought last year’ and ‘California weather whiplash; from extreme drought to extreme rainfall’. This shows what a global issue drought due to climate change is.
Drought means there is less rainfall so water sources such as lakes and rivers can dry up or the river flow will be altered, this increases water scarcity often in regions which are already struggling with water procurement.
World Water Day aims to bring awareness to these issues and encourage businesses and individuals to be conscious of their water habits and their climate habits. Their checklist below offers suggestions on how to make a change.
World Water Day is an important reminder of the value of water and the privilege many of us have to access it so easily. We all need to work together to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring access to clean and safe water for everyone.
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