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World Water Day 2024


World Water Day seeks to focus attention on the global water crisis and raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water, and aspire nations for longer term action, to ensure that everyone in the world has access to safe water.  A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. 

 

Access to drinking water is a human right intrinsic to every aspect of life.

 

The theme for this year is “Water for Peace”.  Water can be a tool for peace when communities and countries cooperate over this shared resource.  When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal, or no access, tensions can rise between communities and countries.

 

More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders.  Yet, only 24 countries have cooperation agreements for all their shared water.  Water cooperation across borders and sectors generates many benefits including enhancing food security, sustaining healthy livelihoods and ecosystems, helping to address resilience to climate change, contributing to disaster risk reduction, providing renewable energy, supporting cities and industry, and fostering regional integration and peace.

 

As climate change impacts increase, and populations grow, there is an urgent need, within and between countries, to unite around protecting and conserving our most precious resource.

 

Public health and prosperity, food and energy systems, economic productivity and environmental integrity all rely on a well-functioning and equitably managed water cycle.

 

Water often plays a role in conflict:

  • Water can be a trigger when interests of different water users marnaclash and are perceived as irreconcilable, or when water quantity and/or quality decreases, which may affect human- and ecosystem health.

  • Water can be a weapon during armed conflict used to gain or maintain control over territory and populations.

  • Water can be a casualty of conflict when water resources, water systems or utility employees are intentional or incidental casualties or targets of violence. Attacks on civilian infrastructure, including water systems, pose serious health risks and violate international humanitarian law.

Facts and Figures:

  • Half of the world’s population is experiencing severe water scarcity for at least part of the year.  These numbers are expected to increase.

  • Climate change, population growth and increasing water scarcity will put pressure on food supply.

  • Only 0.5% of water on Earth is useable and available.

  • Children under the age of 15 living in countries affected by protracted conflict are three times more likely to die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water.

World Water Day 2024 is about working together to balance everyone’s needs, with a dedication to ensure no one is left behind, to make water a catalyst for a more peaceful world.  Make a difference by changing the way water is used, consumed, and managed.

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