“The wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water” – Ismail Serageldin
Water, the one thing which human beings can’t survive without for long. The natural resource which, for centuries we have taken for granted and abused mercilessly and one which is precariously close to depletion if we are not careful.
There is a global water crisis going on and challenges to government and non-governmental bodies trying to fix the situation include water scarcity, water pollution, inadequate water supply and the lack of sanitation for billions of people in less developed countries.
Water and related to it, sanitation is an essential human right and so to bring the world’s attention to this dire situation, so that our children and their children have access to a resource which is essential for the survival of the human race, 22 March has been designated as World Water Day.
World Water Day is an annual observance day on 22 March to highlight the importance of freshwater. It is also used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. World Water Day is celebrated around the world with a variety of events. These can be educational, theatrical, musical or lobbying in nature. The day can also include campaigns to raise money for water projects. The first World Water Day, designated by the United Nations, was commemorated in 1993.
UN-Water selects a theme for each year.The theme for 2018 is “Nature for Water” to encourage people to “look for the answer in nature”. Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods. Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensure that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets for protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution.
The UN World Water Development Report is released each year around World Water Day.
Here in Singapore, most schools celebrate the day by teaching water conservation to the students. For example, some toilets are closed off and students are forced to use a limited number of toilets, or water force is severely curtailed. This is so they get how important water is.
On our part, as individuals, we can also take small steps to help conserve water.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Don’t let all the water go down the drain while you brush! Turn off the tap after you wet your brush, and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.
- Turn off the tap while washing your hands. Do you need the water to run while you’re scrubbing your hands? Save a few litres of water and turn the tap off after you wet your hands until you need to rinse.
- Fix your leaks. Whether you go DIY or hire a plumber, fixing leaky taps and pipes can mean big water savings.
- Take shorter showers. Our shower heads can use as much as 15-20 litres of water per minute. Speed things up in the shower for some serious water savings.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water houseplants.
How do you conserve water? Please do comment and share your tips to save water so that we pass on a better earth to our children than what we inherited!