World Water Day is coming up one week from today. It's held annually on March 22, and is all about the importance of water.
Water, food, air, and shelter are the fundamental building blocks for life, but so many do not have access to clean drinking water.
Each year the UN picks different topics to focus on for World Water Day. This year they're looking at the connection of Nature and Water.
The day focuses on nature-based solutions to our current 21st Century water challenges.
According to their website, "Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods.
Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets on protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution."
Here are some interesting water facts you can share:
- 2/3rds of the world's forests are degraded
- 2/3rds of the world's wetlands have disappeared since 1900
- 1.9 billion people live in areas where water is already scarce by 2050 this could increase to 3 billion
- 80%of all the world's wastewater flows back into the rivers and oceans without being treated
- Soil erosion results in 40 Billion tons of loose topsoil washed into our water every year
- Floods, droughts, and storms have affected over 4 billion people and caused $1 Trillion of damage in the past 25 years
The UN is looking at nature based solutions to help the management of water resources. Restoring ecosystems and preserving our wetlands can help to create jobs and reduce the amount of damage.
For example, adding vegetation along the waters edge can act as a buffer when it rains too much and the water rises. It's about working with nature and it's natural course, rather than trying to bend nature to our will.
In order to celebrate World Water Day here are 10 things we can implement in our life.
- Be grateful. If you wake up and clean water flows out of your tap, you are blessed. Every time you run the tap, remember how blessed you are. I find keeping this perspective helps with conservation efforts!
- Turn off the tap. Whether you're brushing your teeth, your hands, the dishes. Turn the water off when not in immediate use. Keep a basin in your sink to wash your dishes.
- Shower with a bucket. While your shower water heats up, use a bucket to catch the cold water. Use it to water your lawn, flush your toilet, or wash your dishes.
- Shower less. Most people shower WAY too much. You shouldn't shower daily unless you're very sweaty or very dirty. It's not good for your skin. If you're prone to getting stinky just wash the stinky parts like the pits and feet, and save a full shower for later!
- Run it full. Run your laundry or dishwasher when it's full to conserve water.
- Change your landscape. Reduce the amount of grass you have and opt for drought friendly lawn space or convert it into an edible garden, so you're able to grow local food!
- Keep it real. Use real plates and cloth napkins. It might sound like more water is being used in washing the items, but it actually takes 8 gallons of water to make one paper plate! WOW! The average dishwasher only uses 6 gallons of water. Look at all those water savings.
- Stop the leaks. Monitor you water bill. If you see something spike, maybe you have a leak? This helps to save water and puts some money in your pocket.
- Watch what you eat. Agriculture accounts for 65% of the world's fresh water. Opt for low water crops instead of high water crops. Reduce your meat and dairy intake. Try to add in more low water crops like corn, sweat potatoes, amaranth, and black-eyed peas.
- Watch what you wear: Did you know it takes 2,700 gallons of water to make one cotton t-shirt!? Shop for clothing second hand, find contentment in what you already own, host a clothing swap with friends and know you're saving lots of water!
For more eye-opening water information, calculate your water footprint.