22nd March is celebrated as the World Water Day. It focuses on the importance of freshwater and its sustainable management.
The first World Water Day was observed in 1993, declared by the United Nations General Assembly after United Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil insisted on an international observance in 1992.
This year the theme of World Water Day 2019, was ‘Leave No One Behind’. It is an adaptation of the UN’s central pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development- as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.
The slogan of the theme emphasizes on the need to provide safe water to every human being- ‘whoever you are, wherever you are; water is your human right.’
The Water Crisis
According to water.org, 844 million people around the world are living without access to safe water. Safe and clean water is a luxury in many parts of the world. 1 in 9 people in the world spend time to get water, the time that can be utilized in going to school and working for their betterment.
There’s only 3% of earth’s water which is safe to drink and it is a finite resource. It is threatened by several factors like overdevelopment, polluted runoff, climate change and global warming. Freshwater is not only vital for human life but is also essential for wildlife.
Fresh water is found in glaciers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, streams, wetlands and even groundwater. These freshwater habitats are less than 1% of the world’s total surface area yet house 10% of all known animals and up to 40% of all known fish species. Despite their importance to life as a drinking water source, sustaining crops through irrigation, providing food in the form of fish, powering homes through dams and moving goods by barges –freshwater habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Unsafe drinking water causes diseases and health hazards and robs the people living in poverty the opportunities to lead a healthy life.
The responsible use of water is the need of the hour. The sustainable water management is not only required on individual level, but on industrial level too it is of utmost importance. We need to make sure that as we move ahead, no one is left behind.