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World Water Day was conceived during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Since then the goal of the annual celebration has been to draw international attention to the need for sustainable management of this vital resource. Each year World Water Day places attention on a different aspect of freshwater. This year's theme, ‘valuing water’, draws attention to its enormous value for our households, culture, health, economies and the integrity of our natural environment. Without a comprehensive understanding of water’s true, multidimensional value we will be unable to safeguard this critical resource for the benefit of everyone.
World Water Day 2021 provides teachers and students with excellent opportunities to explore the essential nature of water and contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal #6.
Why Care about World Water Day?
• Clean, freshwater is a basic requirement for all life
• While 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, less than .003% of this water is potable.
• Today, > 2.2 billion people live without access to safe drinking water. (UN Water, 2021)
• Everyday women spend >200 million hours carrying water
• Canada ranks second in the world in per capita use of water (Conference Board of Canada, 2018)
• For many of the 400,000 Canadians living on First Nations reserves, access to safe drinking water remains a major challenge
• Water is an integral part of the earth’s web of ecosystems, providing critical habitat for wildlife.
• Canadians depend on healthy aquatic ecosystems to provide essential economic and social services
• The earth’s fresh water resources are facing increasing threats related to climate change (UN Water, 2019)
• Extreme weather events are making water more scarce, more unpredictable and more polluted.
Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in World Water Day. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.
For more information and ideas be sure to check out World Water Day