World Water Day is celebrated on March 22nd every year around the world, with a mission to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater and accelerate change by advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources, that 771 million individuals, across schools, businesses and healthcare centres, to farms and factories, just simply don’t have access to. However, water is a necessity for everyone, which is why it’s important for everyone to get involved and be part of an incredible change that will benefit so many and continues to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2023!
Each year, since 1992, the United Nations have been working towards the progression of providing clean safe water, and raising awareness with World Water Day, changing the annual focus across different theme, widening the scope of knowledge on water related issues. This year's theme is "Valuing Water," which encourages us to reflect on the true value of water and how we can better protect this precious resource, that we so often take for granted. This blog post will discuss three important topics related to World Water Day and provides examples for how we can all take action to make a difference. Be the change you wish to see in the world!
How Do You Use Water?
How conscious are you of how frequently you use water? Whether it’s emptying the last 100ml of your water bottle to refill it with ‘fresh’ water, like the water you initially used wasn’t fresh enough, or taking that extra 5 minutes in the shower because you had a long day, that quickly turned into 15 minutes just simply because it feels nice, or perhaps leaving the tap running whilst you brush your teeth watching the water run down the drain, thinking how next time you won’t do that, just to repeat the ingrained habit, or even rewashing barely dirty clothes that we couldn’t be bothered to refold and put away… we’re all guilty of these actions, maybe only once, or maybe a hundred times, but habits can be hard to break. Our seemingly vast water availability enables us to use water blindly and unconsciously to our disposal, knowing the next time we switch the tap on, the water will run, something we massively take for granted. However, if we had to work harder to have access to our water supply, we might be actively making smarter choices to increase our effective consumption and reduce our wastage. Whilst this is a fortunately hypothetical situation for the likes of you and me, the same luck is not translatable for others around the world and for so many people water availability is a daily challenge, and in many cases, when finally accessed, it’s not even clean. The thought of turning on your tap and dirty water coming out could make some individuals quake in their boots. Imagine, not turning on the tap, but walking miles to find water, for it to be dirty; or to wash yourself or your child or even your food, in dirty water, not ideal, right? For many, this is a real-life situation that is causing widespread waterborne diseases and other health problems, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities.
The Vital Role of Water
Water is a finite resource, essential for human health, the environment and economic development. If we don’t act to help conserve it, even acting through small changes, we are not only being greedy, using up water unnecessarily, but due to factors such as population growth, urbanisation and climate change, there’s a very likely future of water availability and quality decreasing for everyone! Yes, even you, in your nice little developed world with fresh water running out your taps.
Below are some tips on how you can save water and make a difference.
Next time you use water, just stop and think! It’s okay to take a longer shower if you feel you need it, and you don’t need to stop doing everything you’re accustomed to, but at least be conscious of how your individual impact ripples out into the world, because it does… even the small actions you take when no one’s watching. Gaining a greater understanding of your impact and being grateful of what you have access to, can help improve your impact.
World Water Day
Days like World Water Day are here to help support you in these daily decisions and remind you of the importance of individual impact, showing you how you’re helping to generate change around the world and being a beacon of light and hope for those in less fortunate positions. However, YOU can support them too, by putting small changes into practice, spreading word about the importance of water conservation and getting involved by supporting organisations trying to do good in the world. A list of our tips and tricks to reduce your water usage, and improve water quality, as well as links to webpages to find out more about World Water Day, and organisations that you can support are just below.
The hidden impact of your daily water use - BBC Future
Our Work - Clean Water Projects | charity: water (charitywater.org)
UN-Water | Be The Change | Be the change you want to see in the world. (unwater.org)
Contribute To Clean Water Charity - Water Donation | SKT Welfare
Clean Water, Decent Toilets and Good Hygiene | WaterAid UK
World Water Day 2023 | World Vision UK