The purpose of World Water Day is to arouse the public's awareness of water conservation and strengthen water resources protection. To meet the demand for water in people's daily life, business and agriculture, the United Nations has long been committed to addressing the global water crisis caused by rising water demand. The "United Nations Water Conference" held in 1977 issued a serious warning to the world: water will soon become a profound social crisis, and the next crisis after the oil crisis is water. On January 18, 1993, the forty-seventh session of the UN General Assembly made a resolution to determine March 22 of each year as "World Water Day."
This year’s theme, ‘Nature for Water’, explores nature-based solutions (NBS) to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.
Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes.
When we neglect our ecosystems, we make it harder to provide everyone with the water we need to survive and thrive.
Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of our water challenges. We need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting trees to replenish forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands, is a sustainable and cost-effective way to help rebalance the water cycle, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve human health and livelihoods.
By using NBS to help meet the water needs of a growing population, we will contribute to the creation of a circular economy, at the same time as helping to protect the natural environment and reduce pollution - both key targets in Sustainable Development Goal 6, which commits the world to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.