What’s the big day about?
When I started researching World Water Day (WWD) for this blog, I thought there must be an error on the UN WWD website where it states that half of all workers on earth, that’s an eye-watering 1.5 billion people, are employed in water-related sectors. With a bit more digging, it dawned on me that this is absolutely true, with 1 billion people working in farming, fishing and forestry alone, not to mention the water waste, sanitisation and myriad other relevant sectors. The official WWD trailer gives you more of an insight on just how deep our economic dependence on water goes.
Although this year’s theme for the day focuses on Water and Jobs, ‘focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies’, access to clean water is fundamental to all aspects of human existence. Over and above the theme, the central aim of WWD has always been to raise awareness of the global water shortage, an issue that was touched on at the COP21 climate change conference in 2015 and that is considered so acutely problematic by the UN that Ban Ki Moon has set up a global network of state leaders to respond to water scarcity.
As drought and flooding continue to wreak havoc on the supply of fresh drinking water around the world, even in such super advanced economies as California , it is crucial that governments work together ever more closely to come to a consensus on how to fairly manage the earth’s dwindling supply. If we don’t face this issue, international disputes on water ownership will become ever more dangerous and water refugees increasingly common.
How much water do I use?
When reflecting on our personal water usage, we have to consider our total daily water consumption, not just what we drink, but, for example, the gallons of water used in the production of our food and clothing . This latter usage demonstrates how water shortage issues have truly international causes and effects. For example, countries with an acute water shortage that supply a large number of imports , such as clothes and food, to the UK include Spain, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Israel, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
How can I join in to take action on global water shortage and supply?
A sure way to decrease this ‘poaching’ of water from countries with a scarcity, is to buy British when considering the two fundamental building blocks of life, water and food: buy a BIBO and consume freshly purified British water, and buy food grown (and therefore irrigated or watered) in Britain
To help get inspired to take action on water consumption and to reflect more on the quantity of water you consume, take a look at these photos.
Guest Blogger: Nina Brown
Nina Brown is the founder of Tandem Festival (tandemfestival.com) and editor at InTandem Publications (intandempublications.com). Tandem aims to bring environmental issues to a broader audience through the arts.