What is World Water Day

World Water Day, on March 22 every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. The theme for World Water Day 2018 is “Nature for Water” – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.

Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health, water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.

Today, there are more than 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.

Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods.

Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of our water challenges. We need to do so much more with “green” infrastructure and harmonise it with “grey” infrastructure wherever possible.

Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to flood plains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets on protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution.