While it is true that most of the earth is covered with water (in the range of 70 percent) only a fraction of that is accessible and usable for agricultural and domestic needs. As the world’s population grows, the need for water increases as well.
What’s more is that in less developed countries, the infrastructure to access and deliver clean water is often non-existent, creating a cycle of poverty and disease. The world is faced with a water crisis that needs immediate action.
That is why the United Nations in 1993 started the annual tradition of observing World Water Day on March 22. It is a time for people everywhere to learn about water scarcity and conservation. Change starts with awareness and education. Here is what you need to know about World Water Day.
Water is a basic element that we need for survival, yet 1 in 9 people around the world do not have access to clean water. 1 out of 3 people don’t have access to a proper toilet. While water scarcity affects regions around the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is the hardest hit. Two-thirds of the people relying on unclean surface water live in Sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in rural areas.
The theme for World Water Day in 2017 is “Wastewater”. It is an important theme because it focuses both on water conservation and on how you can turn wastewater into a sustainable resource. It is exactly this kind of innovations that the coming generations will rely on to remedy water scarcity.
Revolutions start with small steps, so every little bit counts in your household to cut down on your water use. Never leave the tap running. That means turning it off when brushing your teeth, washing your hands and shaving. You shouldn’t run your tap to defrost food, wash veggies or pour yourself a cold glass of water. For drinking water, cool a jug in the fridge.
Choose a quick shower instead of a long bath. Collect water in a bucket
as you wait for the shower to warm and use it on your plants or to reduce
the amount of water you need to flush the toilet.
Only water your lawn if it really needs it. Don’t water on a windy day, because much of the water will get evaporated. Move your lawn mower blades up a few notches. Longer grass needs less water.
Leaky plumbing fixtures and pipes waste a great deal of water, so staying on top of leaks is a good idea. Inspect faucets and showerhead regularly. Look around heating and cooling units and underneath sink cabinets. Remember the hoses that connect your washing machine and ice maker on your fridge. Be on the lookout for pooling water, rust, damp spots and mold growth. Another telltale sign of a leak is a water bill that increases without explanation.