Water – perhaps the most important element of all – is celebrated today. Unfortunately, there is not that much to celebrate anymore. Water resources are becoming scarcer and scarcer, and not just in countries on the southern hemisphere.
We need to take action now to avoid even more severe droughts, heatwaves and other water crises. You can make a difference by changing the way you use, consume and manage water in your life.
On this World Day, UNESCO would like to recall the extent to which water, whose cycle is global, is permanently at odds with human boundaries. It is up to us to draw the necessary conclusions and to see it as what it is: a vital and common good of humanity, which must therefore be considered on the scale of humanity.
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is accelerating change. It puts the focus on the urgency with which actions have to be taken and aims at governments, the civil society and individuals to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and Sanitation For All by 2030
In 2015, the world committed to this Sustainable Development Goal. Everyone in this world should have access to clean water and sanitation by 2030. However, it is now 2023 and the goal is far-off from being reached right now. Billions of people’s human right to water and sanitation has not yet been fulfilled. Next to water and sanitation, hygiene also plays a core part in this goal as it is directly linked to them.
UN 2023 Water Conference
The UN will hold a water conference this year, for the first time in 50 years. During the conference, a Water Action Agenda will be launched. This is hopefully ensuring further action to commit to solving the water and sanitation crisis. In the agenda, commitments and ideas from around the world on how to act for a better future around water are collected.
At the Water Conference, the aim is to discuss urgently needed changes and create a collective action plan to help everyone reach the goal of access to water and sanitation faster. Governments in particular are targeted and urged to invest in infrastructure such as pipes, sewers, wells, pumps, water tanks, and basic maintenance systems.
How You Can Make A Difference
- Save water: take shorter showers, do not let the tap run when brushing teeth, doing the dishes and preparing food
- Break taboos: talk about the critical connection between toilets, water and menstruation.
- Flush safe: Fix leaking water and waste pipes
- Stop polluting: do not put food waste, oils, medicines and chemicals down the toilet or drains
- Eat local: buy local, seasonal food and try to buy products that are made with less water
- Build pressure: write to responsible policy-makers and join awareness actions
- Clean up: take part in clean-ups of local rivers, lakes, wetlands or beaches
- Share information: tell your friends and family about issues regarding water and sanitation and tell them what they too can do to contribute
Let’s make a difference this World Water Day!