World Water Day 2020: Why wate

Photo: Arek Socha/Pixabay

World Water Day 2020: Why water and climate change are inextricably linked

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.

World Water Day 2020: Why wate

Photo: Arek Socha/Pixabay

On 22 March, South Africa and the world celebrates World Water Day.

This year, World Water Day is about water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked.

World Water Day and climate change

According to its official website, climate delay is almost as dangerous as climate denial. Every country in the world must work more quickly as extreme weather events are making water more scarce, more unpredictable, more polluted or all three.

“Humans need water to survive, as do all the systems we rely on: sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry. Action plans to tackle climate change need to be integrated across different sectors and coordinated across borders. And they must have one thing in common: safe and sustainable water management.”

It is said that fighting climate change will open up vast opportunities for the economy in many areas.

“We need to embrace circular production systems and use water much more efficiently. As the global population grows, so does the demand for water, which depletes natural resources and damages the environment in many places. Solutions include protecting carbon sinks such as oceans and wetlands, adopting climate-smart agricultural techniques, and increasing the safe reuse of wastewater.”

Some stats

  • Treating and re-using wastewater is an effective way to save water. Approximately only 80% of wastewater is currently not treated and/or re-used globally.
  • Climate change is increasing the levels of water scarcity in under-developed regions. If this is not remedied, 700 million people could be displaced due to limited access to water by 2030.
  • By 2040, the global demand for water is expected to increase by 50%.
  • The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, sets out to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030.

In South Africa, there are many things that attribute to what is believed to be a growing water crisis.

According to the Water Project, climate change has affected water supplies within SA. Rains that usually come and supply the country’s water has come infrequently. For example in Durban the dams are said to be 20 percent lower than at the start of 2010. Due to this fact cities are looking to impose water restrictions on communities with many still in place.

What you can do

Usually, World Water Day is a time to meet face-to-face and discuss how to tackle the global crisis in water and sanitation.

With the new coronavirus outbreak many of us need to change our plans for World Water Day events, but organisers are calling on people to watch how much water they use every day of the year.