Celebrate World Water Day on March 22
International World Water Day, celebrated each year on March 22, works to bring attention to the importance of freshwater and to advocate for the sustainable management of the Earth’s dwindling freshwater supplies. According to the UN, 1.8 billion people drink from a water source that is contaminated with feces and other contaminants, putting them at risk for cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio.
Even more startling, it is estimated that over 663 million people are living without a safe water supply close to home, forcing them to spend countless hours trekking to distant water sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water. This year's theme: Why waste water? in support of SDG 6.3 on improving water quality and reducing, treating and reusing wastewater.
The vast majority of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused – polluting drinking, bathing and irrigation water, and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. Reducing and safely treating and reusing wastewater, for example in agriculture and aquaculture, protects workers, farmers and consumers, and promotes food security, health, and well-being.
How Can You Celebrate World Water Day?
Celebrate World Water Day by donating money and resources to organizations that are working to provide clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Check out the charities below:
- charity:water – Founded in 2006, charity: water provides clean and safe drinking water to over 4.6 million people. The organization is backed by private funders so 100% of your charitable contribution will go to providing water.
- Water for People – Started in 1991, Water for People works to provide clean water and sanitation to the people of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and India. Unlike many water donation charities, Water for People works with local communities and governments to invest in their own water solutions, monitors the water solution for 10 years, and teaches the locals how to fix the solution in case it breaks.
- WaterisLife – Provides clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene education programs to schools and villages worldwide. Through their community-driven and community-engaged programs, WiL works with nonprofit partners, local governments, and community organizations to ensure households, schools, orphanages, and medical facilities have access to safe, clean water.
- Water.org – Founded by Gary White and actor Matt Damon, Water.org works to provide safe water and the dignity of a private toilet facilities. Water.org works with local partners to tailor a solution to each community’s needs as well as provide intense training and motivation seminars for the community on the importance of good health and good hygiene.
Celebrate By Using Less and Reusing More
This year’s World Water Day theme, Why Waste Water?, centers around reducing and reusing waste water. Globally, over 80% of the waste water generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. Help reduce this 80% by following these 9 tips:
- Reuse cooled cooking water to water your house plants
- Drop an ice cube? Don’t kick it under the refrigerator. Put it in a house plant.
- Save about 150 gallons of water a month by shortening your shower by a single minute! Even better? Switch to a military shower or a “soap and save” shower, where you turn off the water while you lather.
- Use a broom, instead of a hose, to clean off patios, sidewalks, and driveways – save water and get a workout!
- If the top couple inches of your lawn are moist, there is no need to water it.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing produce
- Throw trash, leftover food, oils, and chemicals into a bin, rather than down the drain. The dirtier your wastewater, the more energy (and money) needed to treat it.
- Capture rainwater to use to water outdoor plants or divert it to an garden, base of a tree, or a pond
- Switch to a Quench filtered water cooler! Quench water coolers filter water on-demand, saving gallons of water that are otherwise wasted during the manufacturing of bottled water.