World Water Day: Global Water Facts
Fresh drinking water is one of nature's most valuable gift. The United Nations (UN) observes World Water Day to celebrate this pivotal natural resource every year on 22nd March playing a vital role in raising awareness Worldwide. Currently 2.2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.
The theme for World Water Day 2022 is 'Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible.’ Groundwater is a vital natural resource that provides drinking water to almost half the population worldwide. Nearly 40% of the water used for irrigating agricultural land comes from groundwater sources. Groundwater is vital to maintain the baseflow of the rivers, and it prevents seawater intrusion and land subsidence.
Despite its importance for maintaining the balance of the ecosystem, the groundwater remains invisible. People do not understand its importance and human activities, and climatic changes are rapidly depleting the groundwater. .
History of World Water Day
The idea of observing World Water Day was first proposed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The same year, UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to observe March 22 as World Water Day starting in 1993.
Let us look at some World Water Facts
By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide will live in area that have water scarcity, and nearly two-third population will live in water-stress regions.
By 2050, the number of drought prone areas will increase by up to five times compared to today.
Unless strict measures are not taken to preserve groundwater and other natural fresh water sources, the demand for groundwater will increase by up to three times over the next 100 years.
With the current population growth rate, experts estimate that by 2025 there will more one billion more mouths to feed worldwide. This means the global agriculture sector alone will require an additional one trillion cubic meters of water per year. This would be equal to 20 Nile River or 100 Colorado River.
According to the International Energy Agency, the world’s energy consumption will increase by up to 35% by 2035. This means there will be a 15% increase in the water usage.
The demand for fresh drinking water globally is expected to grow by 55% by 2050.
About 46% of the world’s surface is covered by transboundary river basins. In the purview of the rapidly increasing water crisis, the boundaries may lead to several conflicts over water.
Nearly 4.5 billion people globally live within 50 Km of an ‘impaired’ water resource, meaning the water resource that is rapidly depleting, becoming dry or is polluted.
According to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, by 2050, one in five developing countries will face extreme water crisis.
Freshwater is indispensable to life. Considering the above world water facts, if we don’t act now to save our precious fresh water sources, humanity could face severe hardships. We can all make a difference at an individual level by taking small steps to save water. Remember, every drop matters.