Can you imagine your life without water? We take it for granted but without water, there is no food, no development (countries/ societies struggle to develop economically, culturally, socially or politically), and a lack of access to clean water can contribute to famine, wars and uncontrolled and irregular migration. In observance of World Water Day, on March 22nd, the World Water Council (WWC) dedicates the day to taking action to tackle the water crisis.
Having access to clean water is key! The WWC encourages all governments to focus on water issues and contribute part of their budget to projects that make safe water available to all on the planet. Worldwide, the total cost of water insecurity to the global economy is estimated at US $500 billion annually.
World Water Council President Benedito Braga commented that, “this year, the impact of wastewater is the focus of World Water Day, [since] approximately 90% of the world’s wastewater flows untreated into the environment.” Many countries are aware of the importance of water security, and in order to combat this issue, an estimated $650 billion US dollars of annual investment is required from now until 2030 to ensure the infrastructure necessary to achieve universal water security is put into place.
In order to continue their mission to achieve greater water security, the World Water Council is currently organizing the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil in 2018, the world’s largest water-related event, with over 30,000 politicians, experts, academics expecting to attend to work towards enhanced water security and water availability.
As of today,
- 12% of the world population lacks clean drinking water
- More than 923 million people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water
- 4,500 children die each day due to lack of access to clean water
- Water-related diseases account for 3.5 million deaths each year
- 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation
- Approximately 700 million people are living in urban areas without safe toilets
4 simple tips on how YOU can reduce and reuse wastewater on World Water Day (and beyond!):
- Turn off the tap while brushing or doing dishes or giving those veggies a good scrub. Also, very helpful to cut your showers short.
- Put rubbish, oils, chemicals, and food in the bin, not down the drain. The dirtier your wastewater, the more energy and money it costs to treat it.
- Collect used water from your kitchen sink or bathtub and reuse it on plants and gardens, and to wash your bike or car.
- Fix that leak in your home!