What’s the goal here?
To ensure access to safe water sources and sanitation for all.
The demand for water has outpaced population growth, and half the world’s population is already experiencing severe water scarcity at least one month a year. Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a human right, yet billions are still faced with daily challenges accessing even the most basic of services.
3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. About 3 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.
More than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any treatment, leading to pollution.
What are the effects of this?
Water and sanitation-related diseases remain among the major causes of death in children under five; more than 800 children die every day from diarrheal diseases linked to poor hygiene.
Proper water and sanitation is a key foundation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including good health and gender equality.
By managing our water sustainably, we are also able to better manage our production of food and energy and contribute to decent work and economic growth. Moreover, we can preserve our water ecosystems, their biodiversity, and take action on climate change.
What can we do?
Civil society organizations should work to keep governments accountable, invest in water research and development, and promote the inclusion of women, youth and indigenous communities in water resources governance.
Generating awareness of these roles and turning them into action will lead to win-win results and increased sustain-ability and integrity for both human and ecological systems.
You can also get involved in the World Water Day and World Toilet Day campaigns that aim to provide information and inspiration to take action on hygiene issues.