• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Save water: Our world depends on it

Save water: Our world depends on it

World Water Day is an international observance day that focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. World Water Day is a global celebration of the significance of freshwater resources and the importance of preserving them for future generations.

This event promotes sustainable and responsible use of water resources by promoting water conservation and raising awareness about the concerns related to water scarcity, pollution, and climate change. This year’s event also features innovative solutions and technologies for water management while encouraging collaboration among communities and stakeholders towards water-related initiatives. Globally, stakeholders witnessed the launch of new campaigns and initiatives aimed at supporting the sustainable management of these vital resources.

World Water Day is celebrated globally with various activities organized by governments, NGOs, and communities to raise awareness and advocate for sustainable water management practices. This year’s celebration took place globally on March 22, 2023 with the theme: “Accelerating the change to solve water and sanitation crisis.”

The combination of investment, public-private partnerships and community engagement are critical for achieving water for all in developing nations particularly in sub-Saharan Africa

Water is a critical component of achieving SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. This goal aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, as it plays a key role in eradicating poverty, improving health and wellbeing, promoting economic growth, and protecting biodiversity and the environment. The pillars of SDG 6 are:

1. Access to water and sanitation for all

2. Management of water resources sustainably

3. Improving water quality and wastewater management.

While there has been progress towards achieving these goals, there is still much work to be done. According to the UN, 2.2 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water and over 4.2 billion lack safely managed sanitation. Moreover, water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population, and over 80% of wastewater is released into the environment without treatment.

Reaching the “Clean Water and Sanitation” goals by 2030 requires significant investment in water infrastructure and management, as well as increased international cooperation and finance. Nevertheless, with concerted efforts, it is possible to achieve the pillars of SDG 6 by 2030.

Overall, the combination of investment, public-private partnerships and community engagement are critical for achieving water for all in developing nations particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

It is worthy to state that climate change has a significant impact on water resources around the world. Global warming is causing more extreme and erratic weather patterns, resulting in droughts, floods, and altered precipitation patterns, which can all lead to water shortages and affect water quality. In addition, melting glaciers and changing precipitation patterns can alter the flow and levels of rivers and lakes, and rising sea levels can lead to saltwater intrusion into freshwater sources.

Water is a precious resource that we must conserve to ensure its sustained availability in the face of a changing climate. We can achieve this by adopting simple practices that reduce water usage such as fixing leaks and using water-efficient appliances, as well as reducing the amount of irrigation we use. Nature-based solutions such as wetlands, forests, and green infrastructure can also play a crucial role in absorbing and storing water. This, in turn, reduces the risks of floods and enhances water quality.

As we face changing water conditions, it is our duty to safeguard this precious resource. We can do so by developing innovative solutions like desalination plants and rainwater harvesting systems or by addressing climate change on a global scale to minimize its impact on our water resources. Governing and managing water resources effectively ensures that they are distributed sustainably and protected for future generations. By working together, we can secure a responsible, equitable, and sustainable future for our water resources.

You may wish to recall that providing access to safe and clean drinking water to all was part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. The MDG target was to reduce the proportion of the global population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by half. This goal was achieved in 2010, when the proportion of the global population without sustainable access to safe drinking water dropped below the target of 50%. However, there are still millions of people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water, so the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a new goal to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Unfortunately, it is true that humanity has not always treated water well in many ways. Some of the ways in which we have not treated water well include human activities such as industrialization, urbanization, and agricultural practices that have polluted water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. Polluted water can cause various health hazards to humans and wildlife, according to some experts.

Water scarcity is a significant problem facing the world today, and one of the main reasons for water scarcity is over-extraction of water resources. This occurs when we withdraw more water from the ground than can be replaced by rainfall, leading to groundwater depletion. Another issue facing water resources is mismanagement. Poor water resource management practices such as improper irrigation practices or improper sewage systems can lead to significant water loss.

Achieving access to clean water and sanitation for all in developing nations, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a complex challenge that will involve the collaboration of multiple stakeholders. Pollution is one of the major problems threatening water security. Polluted water is unfit for human consumption, for livestock and for the natural environment. Water should be treated as one of our treasured resources. To this end, some of the strategies that can be employed, include: Developing Nations need to invest more in water infrastructure to improve access to water and sanitation facilities.

Read also: Water resources bill and the rest of us

Firms in the private sector can play a major role in financing, implementing, and maintaining water supply systems, particularly in urban centres. Water conservation practices such as rainwater harvesting, watershed management, and water recycling should be encouraged to minimize losses and improve water use efficiency.

Developing nations need to work together at the regional level to establish sustainable water management practices, harmonizing water policies and sharing experiences. Community engagement and education is critical to address localized water issues, improving water management and promoting behavioural changes that support more sustainable management practices.

This year’s World Water Day, should remind us of the value of every single drop. Let us pledge once again to safeguard this invaluable resource by adopting sustainable water management practices and supporting access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all.

We all have a role to play in reducing our water footprint and making conscious decisions in our daily lives that will have a positive impact on our communities and the planet. The time for action is now, and together, we can ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. Thank you.