World Water Day, observed every year on 22nd March, is about focusing attention on the importance of water in our life. This day is a reminder that water is our most precious resource and we must use it more responsibly. We must balance all of our society’s water needs while ensuring the poorest people don’t get left behind.
World Water Day 2020 revolves around the theme, ‘Water and Climate Change’ and explores how water and climate change are inextricably linked.
How Water Can Help Fight Climate Change
Climate change increases variability in the water cycle, inducing extreme weather events, reducing the predictability of water availability, affecting water quality and threatening sustainable development and biodiversity worldwide.
Growing demand for water increases the need for energy-intensive water pumping, transportation, and treatment, and has contributed to the degradation of critical water-dependent carbon sinks such as peatlands. And, some climate change mitigation measures, such as the expanded use of biofuels, can further exacerbate water scarcity.
Fighting climate change will open up vast opportunities for the economy in many areas. We need to embrace circular production systems and use water much more efficiently.
As the global population grows, so does the demand for water, which depletes natural resources and damages the environment in many places. Solutions include protecting carbon sinks such as oceans and wetlands, adopting climate-smart agricultural techniques, and increasing the safe reuse of wastewater.
We can’t afford to wait
Climate policymakers must put water at the heart of action plans. Every country in the world must work more quickly. Extreme weather events are making water scarcer, more unpredictable, more polluted or all three. Humans need water to survive, as do all the systems we rely on: sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry. Action plans to tackle climate change need to be integrated across different sectors and coordinated across borders. And they must have one thing in common: safe and sustainable water management. Learn more in the UN-Water Policy Brief on Climate Change and Water.
Everyone has a role to play
It is surprising how many water actions anyone, anywhere can take to address climate change. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Warnings are necessary. But fear will not get the job done.” Yes, climate change can feel scary and daunting. But there is one simple step you can take immediately that will make a big difference: don’t wastewater. Thousands of people are logging their climate actions on the United Nation’s ActNow website. Check out all the easy lifestyle changes that will help save the planet.
Fighting Covid-19 on World Water Day
Usually, World Water Day is a time to meet face-to-face and discuss how to tackle the global crisis in water and sanitation. But, with the coronavirus pandemic looming large across the globe, today most World Water Day events have been postponed. So, today and any other day, let’s remember to wash our hands regularly with water and soap or alcohol-based hand rub. In some parts of the world, there is little or no awareness of good hygiene practices and their role in reducing the spread of disease. So, this World Water Day, let’s show our best hand hygiene moments to fight Covid-19. But please don’t forget to turn off the tap!