Water is arguably the most important resource in the world. Making up 75% of the earth’s surface, water supports all plant and animal life. Water is not only essential as a thirst quencher and sustainer of life, but is also vital in supporting the economy and aiding all aspects of development.
What Is World Water Day?
World Water Day is a day that emphasizes the need for universal access to safe and clean water as well as proper sanitation and good hygiene facilities. The day also advocates for sustainable management of freshwater resources and the reduction of waste in the water. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water which works on all freshwater related issues. UN-Water is an inter-agency that coordinates other UN entities and other international organizations with various governments and partners. There are more than 30 United Nations organizations agencies that deal with water and sanitation issues, indicative of the importance of water in the world today.
The First World Water Day
World Water Day was first formally proposed in Rio de Janeiro. The United Nations assigned March 22 to be the International World Water Day after its proposition in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in 1992. Following this conference, the United Nations General Assembly chose the first World Water Day to be on March 22, 1993. Since then, the day has been celebrated every year with a focus on different water-related issues.
Themes Of World Water Day
Each year since the beginning of World Water Day, there has been a special theme focusing on water-related issues. UN-Water comes up with World Water Day’s theme each year which is part of its water campaigns. In 2018, the theme is Nature for Water. This theme explores nature as a tool to overcome water challenges of the century. In this year’s theme, the world is asked to focus more on green infrastructure, restoring wetlands, and planting new trees. An important aspect to consider is how these activities will help improve health and livelihood of populations as well as rebalance water cycle.
Activities On World Water Day
One of the most critical activities on World Water Day is the release of the UN World Water Development Report by UN Water. Organizations that focus on the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector, and other non-governmental organizations, use this day to raise awareness on water-related issues. Across the globe, public events are held to bring people together to celebrate this day. A global civil society called End Water Poverty organizes events across the world to commemorate World Water Day not only on March 22 but in the whole month of March. Schools and institutions use this day to raise awareness through educational initiatives.