Held annually on the 22nd March, World Water Day is an official United Nations event, coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners across the world. With the objective of raising awareness about the global water crisis, this year’s theme is ‘Nature for Water’ and explores nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.
According to the UNESCO (2018) United Nations World Water Development Report 2018: Nature-based solutions for water:
- 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.
- By 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people and global water demand could be up to 30% higher than today.
- Today, around 1.9 billion people live in potentially severely water-scarce areas. By 2050, this could increase to around 3 billion people.
- An estimated 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from human faeces.
- Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the environment without being treated or reused.
- The number of people at risk from floods is projected to rise from 1.2 billion today to around 1.6 billion in 2050 – nearly 20% of the world’s population.
With those scary statistics in mind, World Water Day is exploring how nature-based solutions, such as restoring forests, grasslands and natural wetlands; reconnecting rivers to floodplains; and creating buffers of vegetation along water courses can help the management of water availability and quality.
While these types of projects involve vast infrastructures, there are things you can do at home to save water such as:
- Fix those dripping taps
- Take showers instead of baths
- Turn off the taps while brushing teeth
- Swap old, ineffective and inefficient appliances with new water and energy efficient products. This can include taps and showerheads, just as much as washing machines and dishwashers.
- Use water butts to collect rainwater to water plants and gardens.
And remember, if you need a plumber to help you make water efficiency changes to your home, there is no better place to look than at the CIPHE’s own find a plumber section of the website.
You can find out more on World Water Day by visiting www.unwater.org