World Water Day is observed every year on March 22 which aims to focus on the importance of fresh water and spread awareness on sustainable management of freshwater resources. Every year it follows a theme to highlight a cause. This year, the theme for World Water Day is ‘Water and Climate Change ‘and explores how the two issues are inextricably linked. In view of the growing Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 campaign also promoted messages around hand-washing and hygiene and gave guidance on staying safe while supporting the campaign. During the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the General Assembly adopted a resolution by which March 22 was declared World Day for Water. The day was first celebrated in 1993.
According to the UN organization, the key messages for World Water Day 2020 are as follows:
“We cannot afford to wait. Climate policymakers must put water at the heart of action plans.”
“Water can help fight climate change. There are sustainable, affordable and scalable water and sanitation solutions.”
“Everyone has a role to play. In our daily lives, there are surprisingly easy steps we can all take to address climate change.”
According to the United Nations, over two billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources, and by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water. Today, with Covid-19 present in every continent except Antarctica, washing hands as they should be washed is a difficult challenge in many developing countries.
Clean water and soap are often in short supply, and many slum dwellers live in homes without running water. As the world confronts the coronavirus pandemic, clean and accessible water for all has become all the more essential.