The world’s population doubled in 40 years from 1959 to 1999. Today, the earth sustains 7 billion people, and another 2 billion are expected to join us by 2050. Coping with population growth and ensuring access to nutritious food for everyone is a major challenge. The UN World Water Day aims to draw attention to the relationships between water and food security. Agriculture is the biggest user of freshwater on the planet: close to 70 percent of all freshwater used by humans goes to irrigation – not only for food crops but also for non-food crops such as rubber, cotton and oil.
International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. The upcoming World Water Day is themed “The World is Thirsty, because We are Hungry!” You want to know why? Then please watch this short and well detailed video below!
The fulfilment of basic human needs, our environment, socio-economic development and poverty reduction are all heavily dependent on water.
Good management of water is especially challenging due to some of its unique characteristics: it is unevenly distributed in time and space, the hydrological cycle is highly complex and perturbations have multiple effects. Rapid urbanization, pollution and climate change threaten the resource while demands for water are increasing in order to satisfy the needs of a growing world population, now at over seven billion people, for food production, energy, industrial and domestic uses. Water is a shared resource and its management needs to take into account a wide variety of conflicting interests. This provides opportunities for cooperation among users.
In designating 2013 as the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, the UNGA recognizes that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between the different needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably, using water as an instrument of peace. Promoting water cooperation implies an interdisciplinary approach bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors, as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions.