Water and Our World

This past Sunday was World Water Day, celebrated internationally each year on March 22nd. The United Nations heads up the campaign, setting a theme. This year’s theme was “Water and Sustainable Development” utilizing the #WaterIs online campaign to raise awareness of water use. One of the beautifully designed posters is below (good design sets my heart aflutter):

WWD2015 Poster

The main focus of World Water Day is to raise awareness of how the global population is using this precious resource. Since I was a little girl, it’s been engrained in my mind that fresh water is a finite resource, and to never, never, EVER waste it. Water was like gold in my house, and I still treat it as such. Buying bottled water is ludicrous to me, and I cringe when I see people leave a tap running. World Water Day is an incredible way to educate others about the uses and misuses of water, especially when it comes to agricultural and industrial uses – ideas that stretch beyond saving water at home.

Considering the theme of sustainable development for this year’s Water Day, we need to look at our global uses of water in order to be able to create the future we want. If we are to sustain our growing population, we need to be careful about how and where we use our water. Water is used for everything including drinking, food production, industry, clothing production, healthcare, environment and nature, energy… Pretty much any single thing you do or touch during the day, water was involved! Now, multiply that by 7 billion people, and you understand how important protecting our water is.

The issue here is that not every person has the same access to water. There are countries where access to clean water is considered a luxury. There are areas where urbanization is increasing substantially everyday, and access to water becomes increasingly limited. There are parts of the world where the technology for efficient and clean water use is too expensive, so the method of transporting water is carrying it in jugs up to six kilometers. When I am being taught not to waste water, it is because I am afforded the opportunity to waste water. Not everyone is, and that’s where World Water Day comes in.

Educating people about responsible water use is the first step to ensuring sustainable access to water worldwide. Spreading awareness through an online campaign is one way to teach others, and it opens the door to a conversation about water. Remember that we can get water just by waving our hands in front of a sensor – not everyone can. Use water wisely.

Emma — The Suburban Aggie

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2 thoughts on “Water and Our World

  1. Hi Suburbanaggie. Unfortunately, the UN is “heading up” this discussion without fostering any kind of meaningful discussion regarding overpopulation – the root of the world’s water problems. Based on everything we’ve read – and seen first hand – we don’t think additional population growth can be sustained – particularly in parts of the globe that are already experiencing water stress and water shortages. To date, approximately 30 countries have been successful in halting or reversing population growth – so it’s possible, and these countries are doing this without laws or penalties, but through an educated citizenry making the most responsible resource management choice they can make: voluntarily limiting reproductive rates. As with so many issues during our lifetime, the UN drags its feet while Rome burns. What do you think?

    • I agree that overpopulation is the root of our water and food problems, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say no discussion has been started. In academic and scientific settings (such as university and college classes, food and water-related summits, and even published magazines), population growth has been considered a main issue. Though this isn’t necessarily the UN’s doing, it is helping start the conversation. World Water Day is another starting point – another way to get the public talking about our water use issues and causes of shortages, one of these being overpopulation.

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