World Water Day is an annual United Nations observance day held on March 22. It was created in 1993 to raise awareness of the importance of freshwater and the need for sustainable management of the planet’s freshwater resources. Today, billions of people are living without safe water at home, 2.1 billion to be exact. Safe water means that it is accessible, available when needed, and free from contamination.
The theme for UN’s World Water Day this year is: “Leaving no one behind.” Access to safe water is every human’s right and this theme highlights the difficulties marginalized people can have with finding safe water. According to the UN, these individuals include women, children, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, refugees, and many more. Reasons people get left behind from accessing safe water include a multitude of factors. Certain “grounds for discrimination” (including gender, ethnicity, sex, age, social status, and health status) can lead to individuals being disadvantaged. Other significant components to acknowledge are population growth, environmental degradation, and conflict.
The intent of World Water Day is more than just raising awareness; it is also about taking action. Efforts need to be focused on including all the people without safe water who have been ignored. Everyone’s voice must be heard, especially when it comes to decision-making processes. Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030 is a Sustainable Development Goal for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This goal of leaving no one behind ties in directly with the core mission of the agenda which states, “as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.”