Water is a critical resource, and it’s availability and quality have wide reaching impacts on sustainable development, poverty, hunger, health and wellbeing. Environmental damage and climate change are driving water-related crises around the world. Floods, droughts and water pollution are all exacerbated by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers, lakes and oceans. When we neglect our environment, we put increasing pressures on often fragile ecosystems and make it harder to provide everyone with the clean water we need to survive. The critical nature and importance of water resources is highlighted by the United Nations declaring this the International Water Action Decade. The Decade aims to accelerate efforts towards meeting water-related social, economic and environmental challenges, including limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and the environment, and an exacerbated risk of droughts and floods.
The United Nations sustainable development goals include ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030, including a target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water-recycling and reuse. You can do your part by getting familiar with what countries and organizations are doing to solve the global water crisis and sharing these stories with your friends and family – spreading knowledge will help raise awareness of progress and to hold elected representatives to account. Seemingly small actions like picking up rubbish from around waterways also helps to prevent further degradation and pollution and can make a big difference locally!⠀
Image words by our inspiration Sylvia Earle