Sunday the 22nd of March was World Water Day; this annual event is celebrated with the purpose of generating awareness and dialog regarding the world’s water resources.
World Water Day was originally created in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The first World Water Day was celebrated in 1993 and since then each year has been focused on different water related themes, from food and energy security to human and environmental health.
During and around this date many non-governmental organizations schedule events promoting clean water and sustainable habits. Concentrating all efforts towards building awareness; from organizing visual art, theatrical and musical celebrations, to coordinate educational workshops and money raising campaigns providing access to clean and affordable water.
This year’s World Water Day theme is: Water and Sustainable Development, highlighting the role of water in the sustainable development agenda. The UN and its member nations dedicated the day to promote activities showing how water is at the core of all sustainable development, but also how water contributes to improvements in social well-being and inclusive growth, affecting the lives of billions.
For more information on World Water Day see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Water_Day
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a new list of 17 universal goals made to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) that will expire at the end of 2015. With the intention to build upon and learn from the MDGs, the UN created this new set of goals conducting the largest consultation program in the UNs history. A working group with representatives from 70 countries processed the collected opinions and developed the final draft July 2014. If the member states agree on this list of 17 goals and 169 targets at the UN summit in NYC held in September, they will become active from January 2016. The expected deadline for the SDGs is 2030.
To know more about the SDGs read The Guardian´s article: Sustainable Development Goals: all you need to know
In addition to this year´s theme for World Water Day and the final stage of the development of the SDGs the World Economic Forum ranked water for the first time as number one in their Global Risk Report, highlighting water-overuse as the most significant long-term risks worldwide.
It seems like 2015 can become the year that water is properly addressed in all its complexity. With World Water Day, World Water Forum in Korea in April, the Global Risk Report placing water as the number one risk and The United Nation Summit formally adopting the Sustainable Development Goals in September, this is a year where important water discussions are held around the world.
In this next series of blogs we are going to take a closer look at initiatives that work actively towards providing solutions to some of the most urgent water issues. Concentrating on initiatives that address water–overuse and the water-food nexus.