World Water Day 2021: Theme, history and significance of saving water

March 22, 2021 | Updated 8:45 am

World Water Day 2021: Theme, history and significance of saving water Representational Image of water (courtesy: Pexels)

New Delhi, March 22: Celebrated each year on March 22, World Water Day highlights the importance and the need to conserve freshwater. Water, which plays a vital role in or day to day lives, is one of the most undervalued resources that we have taken for granted. From drinking clean water to washing and cleaning purposes, water dictates many privileges that we enjoy every day. While most of us enjoy a steady water supply each day, many parts of our country as well as the world, still struggle to have access to clean drinking water. According to UN estimates,1 in 3 people live without safe drinking water. The situation is worsening, as the United Nations believes that by 2025, half of the global population will be living in areas where water is scarce.

This is why World Water Day each year underlines the importance of this precious resource. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Theme of World Water Day 2021: Valuing Water

This year’s theme for World Water Day is ‘Valuing Water’, and it dwells on what water means to us. How is water important to your home and family life, your livelihood, your cultural practices, your wellbeing, your local environment? The conversation will revolve around how water has shaped your life and of the people around you. And lastly what can we do on an individual level to better protect this vital resource. “The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment,” UN body says.

History

The United Nations General Assembly on December 22, 1992, adopted a resolution and declared March 22 as World Water Day. Since 1993, the day is celebrated every year around the world. The event raises awareness for the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.

Significance

With 1 in 3 people living without safe drinking water, the need to conserve and preserve freshwater sources have become a crucial issue. More than 7o per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water however only 0.5 per cent  is available as fresh drinking water.

Water and Soap Against the Coronavirus

The need to conserve water has become pivotal as the practice of maintaining hand hygiene has become essential to contain the spread of COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases. In order for the world to stay safe, people need to have access to soap and water.

On this World Water Day, and any other day, remember to wash your hands regularly with water and soap or with an alcohol-based hand gel.

The UN in its ‘world water development report 2021: valuing water‘ reveals some 3.4 billion people, 45 per cent of the global population, lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities. According to independent assessments, the world will face a global water deficit of 40 per cent by 2030. This situation will be worsened by global challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change.

By 2050, up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year. Therefore, Climate-resilient water supply and sanitation will become vital save the lives of more than 360,000 infants every year. According to studies, If we limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, we could cut climate-induced water stress by up to 50 per cent. This will not only save water but also limit the economic damage vulnerable countries face each year due to climate change. Extreme weather has caused more than 90 per cent of major disasters over the last decade.

By 2040, global energy demand is projected to increase by over 25 per cent and water demand is expected to increase by more than 50 per cent.

Saving water must be looked at from a fresh perspective as the Coronavirus, forest fires and other natural disasters have once again made the world realise the importance of water and the need for sustainable management. On this World Water day, each one of us can pledge to do a little more to conserve this precious resource.