Stories

Celebrating the power of water


Four-year-old Allizon Stefany Escobar splashes her laughing great-grandmother, Conzuelo Flores, as they stand in shallow water at a river near their home, in Cayo District.
Photo: © UNICEF/UN032052/LeMoyne

This World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. Through water, we are able to see the effects of climate disruption, from extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, glacial melting, saltwater intrusion and sea level rise. That's why this year's focus is on water and climate change.

If the world doesn’t take action, by the year 2050, it is expected that between 3.5 and 4.4 billion people will live with limited access to water.  

To better understand the urgency for action, UN Water provides answers to three critical questions. 

Why the urgency? Why must policy makers prioritize water in their action plans? 

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Dry and brittle ground. Image shows the devastation drought and water scarcity can cause the ground.

Photo: UN Photo/Martine Perret

Climate delay is almost as dangerous as climate denial. Every country in the world must work more quickly. 

Extreme weather events are making water scarcer, more unpredictable, more polluted or all three. 

Humans need water to survive, as do all the systems we rely on: sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry. 

Action plans to tackle climate change need to be integrated across different sectors and coordinated across borders. And they must have one thing in common: safe and sustainable water management. 

Learn more in the UN-Water Policy Brief on Climate Change and Water. 


How can water help fight climate change?  

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Woman holds a large metal container on her head as it fills with water.

Photo: © Arne Hoel/World Bank

Fighting climate change will open up vast opportunities for the economy in many areas. We need to embrace circular production systems and use water much more efficiently. 

As the global population grows, so does the demand for water, which depletes natural resources and damages the environment in many places. Solutions include protecting carbon sinks such as oceans and wetlands, adopting climate-smart agricultural techniques, and increasing the safe reuse of wastewater. 

Water is our most precious resource – we must use it more responsibly. We must balance all of society’s water needs while ensuring the poorest people don’t get left behind. 

Learn more in the World Water Day Toolkit

 

How can individuals help?  

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Women jumps out from the water with her arms raised high,as the sun sets.

Photo: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Warnings are necessary. But fear will not get the job done.” 

Yes, climate change can feel scary and daunting. But there is one simple step you can take immediately that will make a big difference: don’t waste water. 

Thousands of people are logging their climate actions on the United Nation’s ActNow website. Check out all the easy lifestyle changes that will help save the planet. 

 

The day is led by UN Water, which is composed of more than 30 UN entities. Together they coordinate a unified response to water related challenges. 

To learn more about UN Water and World Water Day, or to get involved, visit https://www.worldwaterday.org/

 

 

 

 

Goals we are supporting through this initiative