I've said it before (and I'm not the only one): water makes the world go round. We all need it, in a variety of ways to maintain our health and wellness!
That is the basis for World Water Day. Since 1993, the United Nations has centered on March 22nd as World Water Day as a day to raise awareness to the global water and sanitation issues that challenge our planet. Not only a day for learning, but a day for inspiring action, World Water Day highlights that all are not equal when it comes to clean water. In fact, here are some sobering facts taken straight from their website:
- "1.4 million people die annually and 74 million will have their lives shortened by diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. (WHO 2022)"
- "Today, 1 in 4 people – 2 billion people worldwide – lack safe drinking water. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)"
- "Almost half of the global population – 3.6 billion people – lack safe sanitation. (WHO/UNICEF 2021)"
- "Globally, 44 per cent of household wastewater is not safely treated. (UN-Water 2021)"
- "Global water demand (in water withdrawals) is projected to increase by 55 per cent by 2050. (OECD 2012)"
Additionally, from charity: water (an organization I have monthly contributed to for several years), there are these statistics:
- "Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.43% of those deaths are children under five years old. Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week"
- "Women are responsible for 72% of the water collected in Sub-Saharan Africa."
- "Each day, women in Sub-Saharan Africa spend a total of 16 million hours collecting water."
- "Clean water helps keep kids in school, especially girls. Less time collecting water means more time in class. Clean water and proper toilets at school means teenage girls don’t have to stay home for a week out of every month."
This year's World Water Day theme is "Accelerating Change." Eight years ago, in 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals were established as ways to address 17 major global issues by 2030. Goal number 6: "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all." Given that 2030 is a mere 7 years away, we are behind given the statistics above. What started as a theme of "Be the Change" shifted to "Accelerating Change." We all need to take part given we all consume water. How we manage the water we use can make a difference. For this reason, it's not a government issue, it is a global and individual issue.
UN 2023 Water Conference, taking place March 22-24, 2023 in New York City. It is slated as the first event of its kind in almost 50 years. Individuals are inspired and encouraged to make personal commitments, which will then be added to those of nations, companies, organizations, and other collectives. The combined commitments will build the Water Action Agenda and serve as their main outcome.
In this 2 minute, animated video, you can get an overview of World Water Day 2023 and its theme of "Accelerating Change."
World Water Day--What Can You Do? What will you do?
On an individual level:
- Download the Activation Kit to promote World Water Day digitally or in print.
- Check out The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving Water.
- Create your own social media image tied to Sustainable Development Goal 6.
- Follow the following on Social Media: #WorldWaterDay
- Download the Be The Change Tool Kit.
- Check out the World Water Day website.
- Donate to charity:water to help buy back 70 minutes of time for women who spend time walking each day to get clean water.
On a class or organization level:
- Create an origami "bouquet" of hummingbirds then send a photo and your World Water Day commitments to the United Nations
- Play the Test Your Water Knowledge Kahoot or check out other resources from the UN Department for Economic & Social Affairs.
video from https://youtu.be/pUkj3uwCPSE, Logo from https://www.worldwaterday.org/, water & globe image from https://sdgs.un.org/conferences/water2023, infographic from https://sdgs.un.org/conferences/water2023/about
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