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World Water Day:
March 22nd, 2024

World Water Day was conceived during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in 1992. Since then the goal of the annual celebration has been to draw attention to the need for sustainable management of this vital resource. Each year World Water Day places attention on a different aspect of freshwater. The theme of this year’s observance,“water for peace” reminds us that water can promote peace or spark conflict. While over time, there have been many more incidences of cooperation than conflict over water, there is still progress to be made in ensuring equitable access for all to this vital resource.

World Water Day 2024 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.

• Currently, > 2.2 billion people live without access to safe drinking water. (UN Water, 2021)

• Human activities and climate change are causing serious depletion and pollution of the groundwater in many parts of the world

• 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

• As climate change impacts increase, there is an urgent need, within and between countries, to unite around protecting and conserving our most precious resource

• More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders. Yet, out of 153 countries that share rivers, lakes and aquifers with their neighbours, only 24 countries report having cooperation agreements for all their shared water. (UN water, 2021)

• When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal, or no access, tensions can rise between communities and countries.

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.