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Tackling the global water crisis

‘Why waste water?’ is the question on everyone’s lips this year’s World Water Day. Held annually on the 22 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 event is focusing on wastewater.

According to UN figures:

  • Over 663 million people live without a safe water supply close to home. Not only do these people have to spend countless hours queuing or trekking to distant water sources, but they also have to deal with the health impacts of using contaminated water.
  • Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
  • 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.
  • Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene collectively cause around 842,000 deaths each year.
  • Most cities in developing countries do not yet have adequate infrastructure and resources to address wastewater management in an efficient and sustainable way.


However, it doesn’t have to be this way. The benefits from investing in wastewater management far outweigh the monetary cost. Not only are people healthier, but the impacts on the local economy and environment are huge. Wastewater management alone can bring new business opportunities and ‘green’ jobs to regions where poverty and the water crisis go hand in hand.

What can we do?
While campaigning to Governments and donating to charities doing sterling work in this area (such as WaterAid) are a great start, there are also things you can do in your own homes. Fresh water is a precious natural resource and so this World Water Day the CIPHE is urging everyone to look at ways we can reuse and reduce wastewater in our homes, such as:

  • Reusing greywater on our gardens or plots to water plants
  • Getting those dripping taps fixed
  • Taking showers instead of baths
  • Turning off the taps while brushing teeth
  • Swapping 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.


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 their website

You can find out more on World Water Day by visiting