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22 March: World Water Day

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22 March 2020 - Water is the most precious commodity on earth. There is no substitute for it - and it is scarce. In many regions of the world, people are threatened by acute water shortages. A very large number of all diseases in poor countries are caused by polluted drinking water.

UN Water 22 March World Water Day
UN Water 22 March World Water Day© UN Water

To draw attention to this situation, the International World Water Day has been celebrated every year since 1993.

About two thirds of the earth is covered with water. About 2.5 % of it is fresh water and is only available as drinking water to a limited extent, as it is located at the poles.

The availability and quality of water is currently changing dramatically due to population growth, changing consumption patterns and climate change.

International water policy means improving cooperation in the water sector in dialogue with international actors.

For this purpose, suitable concepts and strategies are developed and implemented in partnership.

International water policy includes both drinking water supply and sanitation as well as water resource management.

Research is necessary,

  • to detect and evaluate groundwater resources,
  • to reconcile the needs of agriculture, drinking water supply and ecosystems when water is scarce,
  • to prevent droughts, floods and conflicts, and
  • to ensure the human right to water.

For this reason, all states in the world need high-quality water research and water management.

What is needed are comparable measurement standards, long-term measurement series and, in many countries, the first-time establishment of infrastructure and the training of personnel.

Transboundary river courses and groundwater resources pose particular challenges.

Background information

World Water Day was proposed in Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro and was adopted by the UN General Assembly in a resolution on 22 December 1992.

Since 1993, it has been held every year on 22 March. Since 2003 it has been organized by UN-Water.

Every year, numerous campaigns are held worldwide on World Water Day to draw attention to the protection of water resources and their sustainable use.

The motto for 2020 is “Water and climate change”.

An overview of worldwide actions can be found on the official website of the World Water Day https://www.worldwaterday.org/

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