World Water Day observed with theme Why Wastewater?

World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water, the UN’s inter-agency collaboration mechanism for all freshwater related issues, in collaboration with governments and partners.

Mar 22, 2017 09:23 IST
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World Water Day, Water crisis in India 22 March: World Water Day

The World Water Day (WWD) was observed globally on 22 March 2017 with theme Why Wastewater? The year’s theme for the world water day focuses on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80 per cent of all the wastewater.

The theme highlights that wastewater flows from homes, cities, industry and agriculture to nature. This free or untreated flow helps in polluting the environment leading to loss of valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.


World Water Day, Why Wastewater

Motto behind the theme Why Wastewater?: The theme seeks to improve the collection and treatment of wastewater and safe usability of the same. At the same time, it wants to make us (people) learn the art of reducing the quantity and pollution load of wastewater that we produce. The effort will help us in protecting the environment and water resources that are available to us.

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Save water is also a goal enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goal. The Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 - includes a target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.


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Water and why it should be preserved?

Water is the essential building block of life. Apart from being an essential source to quench thirst or protect health, water also acts as a source that supports economic, social and human development goals by creating jobs.

Water should be protected from being wasted because, today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.

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Facts about water:

• Globally, over 80 per cent of the wastewater is generated by society. This wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. (Sato et al, 2013)

• 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water that is contaminated with faeces. This contamination put them at risk of contracting cholera, typhoid, dysentery and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842000 deaths each year. (WHO/UNICEF 2014/WHO 2014)


The opportunities for exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.

The World Water Day came into existence to focus on the importance of freshwater. The day which is annually celebrated on 22 March also advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

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The first World Water Day was observed on 232 March 1993. Earlier, an international day to celebrate a day of freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The recommendation was responded by designation 22 March as a World Water Day by adopting a resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

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