Every year on the 22nd of March, World Water Day is celebrated internationally. World Water Day raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. This year’s theme is 'Valuing water'.

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Campaign poster of World Water Day 2021
Campaign poster of World Water Day 2021, putting the emphasis on valuing water.

Access to water

A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. This is to ensure that all have access to safe water throughout the the world by 2030! 

The idea for this international day goes back to 1992, the year in which the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro took place. That same year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993.

What happens on World Water Day?

A variety of events take place to observe this event and advocate the sustainable management of freshwater resources. These are usually educational, musical or theatrical.

The UN also uses this day to highlight the importance of water usage and the effects it can have on climate change. The campaign shows how our use of water can help reduce floods, droughts, scarcity and pollution, and how it can help fight climate change itself.

By adapting to the water effects of climate change, the UN believes that we can protect health and save lives. And, by using water more efficiently, we can all help to reduce greenhouse gases.

Values of water

Water means different things to different people. This year, World Water Day will focus on these different values of water. The conversation will be about what water means to you. How is water important to your home and family life, your livelihood, your cultural practices, your wellbeing, your local environment?

By recording - and celebrating - all the different ways water benefits our lives, we can value water properly and safeguard it effectively for everyone. The aim is to understand how people value water – whether it is economically, socially, culturally or in other ways – how it plays a role in their lives.

By raising your voice - and celebrating - all the different ways water benefits our lives, we can value water properly and safeguard it effectively for everyone.