Photo by Jacob Taylor of Find Us Lost
A key part of The Little Market’s mission is to source, and raise awareness, for eco-conscious goods. Here on Cultural Exchange, we share avenues in which we encourage our readers to make sustainable lifestyle choices by supporting women around the globe. Today, we are recognizing World Water Day. Keep reading to learn more about this monumental day.
Annually, World Water Day is observed globally on March 22nd, mandated by UN Water to raise awareness and call to action for accessible clean water and combating climate change. According to UN Water, clean drinking water is currently inaccessible to one in three people (about 2.2 billion). Water is a key resource for life on Earth and the following: sanitation, healthcare, education, business, and industry.
WATER + CLIMATE CHANGE
The world is currently experiencing harsher weather events, causing water sources to be more polluted, scarce, and unpredictable. As populations grow, so does the demand for water and the increase in carbon emissions. The UN’s briefing on water demand and climate change explains, “Growing demand for water increases the need for energy-intensive water pumping, transportation, and treatment, and has contributed to the degradation of critical water-dependent carbon sinks such as peatlands.”
What does this mean for the future?
- Sustainable policies must be put into place to meet the demand for growing populations to provide safe drinking water.
- Investment in education and capacity development to ensure policies and shared knowledge in improving climate conditions according to those heavily affected.
IMPACT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
In 2010, the United Nations declared “the right to safe and clean drinking water as a human right.” According to the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), the United States is among 40 countries that abstained in recognizing access to clean water and sanitation as a human right. However, 122 Nations and States voted in recognition for States to build the capacity, particularly in the Global South, to provide accessibility safe and clean water to their populations. Although countries may not have pure water systems, those who are improving their water resources are not considered to be violating human rights. This comes with the challenge of slow progression that may leave people without clean water for a longer period of time.
THE UN GLOSSARY
The following key terms when explaining water as a human right is defined by UN Water as such:
- Sufficient – Individual households have a water supply enough for each person for continuous uses that include drinking, personal sanitation, washing clothes, food preparation, and personal and household hygiene.
- Safe – Water must be free from toxins or any hazards that may be a threat to a person’s health.
- Acceptable – Water must meet the acceptable standards of a culture, color, lifecycle, and other personal preferences such as for domestic use.
- Physical Accessible – Water and sanitation service must be physically accessible within, or in the immediate vicinity of, an individual’s household, workplace, or health institution.
- Affordable – Water, and water facilities and services, must be affordable for all.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We can all do our part to work toward clean drinking water for all. Here are a few ideas to get started!
- Raise awareness in your community and educate others on water-related issues.
- Volunteer with organizations that are addressing these issues on the ground.
- Stay mindful of your water consumption and find ways in which you can reduce water usage on a daily basis.
- Support innovative technologies and infrastructure that are working to control and sustainably manage water sources.
This World Water Day, please join us in advocating for safe water sources for everyone. Clean water is essential for a safer, healthier world.
Learn more about World Water Day and how you can make an impact: