Understanding the Importance of World Water Day: Why Every Drop Counts

Understanding the Importance of World Water Day: Why Every Drop Counts

World, Society By Mar 23, 2023 No Comments

According to the UN To promote and raise awareness about the importance of world water day, resource one in four people in the world lacks safe drinking water.

World Water Day: 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Our World’s Water Supply

  1. Only 2.5% of the world’s water is freshwater, and just 0.3% is readily available for human use. The remaining 97.5% is saltwater, found in oceans and seas.
  2. Approximately 70% of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture, while only 10% is used for domestic purposes and 20% for industrial use.
  3. Over 1 billion people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water, and nearly 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities.
  4. The world’s largest groundwater source, the Ogallala Aquifer in the United States, is being depleted at an alarming rate due to overuse.
  5. Water scarcity is not only a problem in arid regions; many areas with high rainfall and abundant water resources suffer from water scarcity due to poor management and distribution systems.
  6. The United Nations has declared access to clean water and sanitation a basic human right, yet millions of people still lack access to these essential resources.
  7. The world’s oceans absorb approximately 25% of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities, leading to ocean acidification, which threatens marine life and ecosystems.
  8. Climate change is exacerbating water scarcity and affecting the world’s water resources by changing precipitation patterns, increasing evaporation rates, and causing extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.
  9. Water-related diseases such as cholera and dysentery are responsible for an estimated 3.4 million deaths each year, mostly in developing countries.
  10. Water is essential for producing energy, with hydropower providing 16% of the world’s electricity, but energy production also has a significant impact on water resources, with power plants being responsible for 45% of all freshwater withdrawals in the United States.

World Water Day: Main natural resource on the planet

Water is the main natural resource on the planet for the development of human life and, therefore, the progress of societies. However, for centuries, this resource began to be exploited in an excessive way, so international organizations during the second half of the twentieth century undertook efforts to care for this good.

The major civilizations in the world settled near rivers that allowed their peoples to thrive. Such was the case of Egypt, on the Nile River; the Sumerians near the Tigris River and Euphrates or the great Tenochtitlan on Lake Texcoco.

Water was so precious that even polytheistic societies worshipped it through different deities, such as Tlaloc for the Nahuas in Mesoamerica, Mama Cocha, Mother of the Waters, for the Incas or Yemayá, goddess of fertility – associated with rivers and seas – for the Yoruba of Nigeria.

This good was also of great importance during the industrial revolution; initially for steam engines and later for sanitary use and as a heat or cooling transmitter.

World Water Day: Misuse of water resources

However, the misuse of water resources has led to the collapse of societies and is currently undermining human development. Today, 1.4 million people die from sanitation-related diseases and poor water hygiene, while 74 million more will see their lives reduced, according to the United Nations (UN).

In 1992, the UN declared March 22 as World Water Day, in order to raise awareness about caring for water resources around the globe.

Understanding the Importance of World Water Day: Why Every Drop Counts
Understanding the Importance of World Water Day: Why Every Drop Counts

World Water Day: United Nations Conference on Environment

The anniversary was proposed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in that year. The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on 22 December 1992 and declared 22 March as World Water Day.

Since then, each year it is celebrated with a specific theme. The first of these – in 1994 – was “Taking care of our water resources for everyone”, while this 2023 is “Accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis”.

It was in 2015 that the nations of the world committed to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 of the 2030 Agenda: Ensure the availability of water, as well as it is sustainable management and sanitation for all yet, this goal remains a long way off.

World Water Day: Billions of people are not able to drink safely

And, according to the UN, currently billions of people still do not see their human rights to water guaranteed, as one in four people worldwide lack safe drinking water, while half of the world’s population suffers from the lack of safe sanitation. In addition, 44% of wastewater is not treated safely.

Other worrying data are that in which 80 percent of households without access to running water, women and girls are responsible for its collection; 80% of wastewater is discharged into rivers and seas without treatment, and that by 2050, water withdrawal will increase by 55%.

World Water Day: Resources Development 2023

Therefore, the next report on World Water Resources Development 2023 will focus on the creation of alliances and partnerships to improve cooperation and accelerate progress towards the objectives set because, according to UN estimates, governments must work four times faster to meet SDG 6 on time.

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