Brussels | UNRIC
How can we manage our precious water supplies as demand soars?
Two billion people in the world have no access to safe water and 4.5 billion lack proper sanitation. Safe water is becoming the most precious commodity in most regions of the world, including Europe. More than half of the world already lives in cities, estimated to increase up to 6 billion urban inhabitants by 2050. As overdevelopment, population growth and a record of droughts, exacerbated by human-induced climate change, are unbalancing the use and supply of water, cities are facing threats of life-threatening water shortages.
Many of the solutions we need can already be found in nature. That’s the theme of World Water Day, which we mark annually on March 22nd.
The water crisis springs from environmental damage, so nature-based solutions such as planting new forests, reconnecting rivers and restoring wetlands, can rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.
Humans are at the heart of this crisis and are therefore also part of its solution. That’s why the United Nations has decided to launch a Water Action Decade until March 22, 2028. This new decade will raise awareness of the threats to safe water supplies and underline the importance of water for a sustainable future.
Access to water is at the heart of sustainable development (SDG 6). It is also fundamental to food production, health, socio-economic development and human dignity. The sixth Sustainable Development Goal – access to safe water for everyone by 2030.
All of us need to make choices and respect what is too often taken for granted all over the world.