March 22 is the official date assigned by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 as International World Water Day. On this day we focus on raising awareness world-wide about problems with water and sanitation. This is also the “time to celebrate global efforts to bring clean water to the 800 million people who still don’t have it,” according to the Huffington Post news report on March 21.
Every year the emphasis is placed on a “different aspect of freshwater,” and this year it will be on Water and Energy according to the Dutch Water Sector News.
The objective this year is to raise awareness on how “water and energy are fundamentally interlinked,” and how most forms of energy production rely on water, such as hydroelectric, nuclear and thermal energy.
This becomes critically important for the ‘bottom billion’ of the population who do not have access to “clean drinking water, proper sanitation, and adequate food and energy sources.” Child mortality rates, maternal health issues, and overall poverty are all attributed to lack of access to clean water.
What can you do to help on this day? You can start by writing to your elected officials about the “Water for the World’ Act, and start to monitor your water consumption by following these few easy tips:
1. Adjust your dishwasher settings –use your water saving mode, and turn off your dryer setting to save energy.
2. Choose a water conscious car wash – washing your own vehicle in your driveway can use up to 60 gallons of water or more in just five minutes.
3. Harvest the rain – put a rain barrel below your gutter downspout, you can capture almost a half a gallon of water for every square foot of roof during a one-inch rainfall, which can add up fast.
To learn more about how you and your community can help with this global crisis go to www.water.org.