Each year on March 22, the United Nations recognizes the importance of universal access to clean water and sustainable freshwater resource management through the celebration of World Water Day.
This year’s theme is Nature for Water, and this year’s fact sheet discusses how nature based solutions are, “a sustainable and cost-effective way to help rebalance the water cycle, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve human health and livelihoods.” Below are a few surprising facts featured in the fact sheet:
- 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.
- Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the environment without being treated or reused.
- Today, around 1.8 billion people are affected by land degradation and desertification. At least 60% of forest land is in a degraded state.
- Check out the World Water Day website. The site is filled with resources, videos and stories to learn more this year’s theme, World Water Day initiatives and how you can get involved.
- Practice responsible water use during your morning routine. Taking a shower uses an average of 15 less gallons of water than filling up a bathtub, and shutting off the faucet while you brush your teeth or scrub your hands during washing can save almost 400 gallons of water a month.
- Watch a water documentary. Just do a search for water on your Netflix, Hulu or Amazon streaming accounts for a variety of highly-acclaimed films on the world water crisis, droughts and climate change, and even the bottled water industry. Not only will you become educated on the water issues faced around the world, but may even be inspired to take action or make a change.
- Plant a tree. As stated in the fact above, 60% of forest land is in a degraded state. Healthy forests ensure good quality soil for water to fall onto and flow though, which can prevent flooding and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
- Choose recycled goods while grocery shopping. It takes less water and energy to turn materials into recycled goods than is does to start with raw materials. You’ll be surprised how many products are available, just look for 100% recycled labels!