March 22, 2021 is World Water Day, an annual occurrence to raise awareness about water issues and tackle obstacles to clean and abundant water for everyone. This year’s theme is “Valuing Water”. World Water Day 2021 is focusing on what water means to each individual person.
“How is water important to your home and family life, your livelihood, your cultural practices, your wellbeing, your local environment?
In households, schools and workplaces, water can mean health, hygiene, dignity and productivity. In cultural, religious and spiritual places, water can mean a connection with creation, community and oneself. In natural spaces, water can mean peace, harmony and preservation.
Today, water is under extreme threat from a growing population, increasing demands of agriculture and industry, and the worsening impacts of climate change.”UN World Water Day
Facts about water and climate change:
- Today 1 in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water. (UN 2021)
- Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces. (WHO 2019)
- Only 3 out of 5 people worldwide have basic handwashing facilities. Handwashing is a key prevention to spreading of diseases, especially COVID-19. Worldwide, 16% of healthcare facilities, or around 1 in 6, had no functional toilets or handwashing facilities at either points of care where patients are treated. (UNICEF 2020)
- Globally, rural populations are the most disadvantaged. 8 out of 10 people who lack even basic drinking water live in rural areas. 7 out of 10 people who lack even basic sanitation live in rural areas. (UNICEF 2019)
Pope Francis stated in his encyclical Laudato Si’,
“Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.”Laudato Si’ §30
What does water mean to you? What are the ways you value water?
To learn more or participate in conversations about World Water Day, click here.