The United Nations (UN)’s World Water Day is annually observed across the globe on 22nd March to celebrate water and focus on the importance of freshwater.The day also aims to create awareness of the 2.2 billion people who are living without access to safe water.
- The theme of World Water Day 2022 is “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible”.
- International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) proposed the theme of 2022.
- The observance of World Water Day is led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/47/193 and proclaimed the 22nd March of every year as World Water Day.
The first-ever World Water Day was observed on 22nd March 1993.
- The idea of the international day of water originated at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Other celebrations and events:
i.In February 2011, the UNGA adopted the resolution 65/154 and decided to proclaim 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.
The celebration of this International Year coincided with the 20th anniversary of World Water Day.
ii.UNGA adopted the resolution A/C.2/71/L.12/Rev.1 and proclaimed the period from 2018 to 2028 the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”.
The decade commenced on World Water Day 2018(22nd March 2018) and the decade will terminate on World Water Day 2028(22nd March 2028).
Note: these observances reaffirm that water and sanitation measures are key to poverty reduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.
UN World Water Development Report 2022: Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible
UN-Water and UNESCO launched the 2022 edition of the United Nations(UN) World Water Development Report(WWDR), titled “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible”, focused on groundwater.
- The 2022 report describes the challenges and opportunities associated with the development, management and governance of groundwater across the world.
- The report states that Accounting for approximately 99% of all liquid freshwater on Earth, groundwater has the potential to provide societies with tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits and opportunities.
About UN WWDR:
i.The UN WWDR is the flagship report of the UN-Water report, focusing on a different theme each year.
ii.The report is published by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water and its production is coordinated by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme.
- The annual theme for World Water Day is aligned with the focus of the report.
i.Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater.
ii.Around 40% of all the water used for irrigation comes from aquifers.
iii.Asia and the Pacific region has the lowest per capita water availability in the world, with groundwater use in the region predicted to increase 30% by 2050.
iv.Around 20% of European Union (EU) groundwater bodies exceeds EU standards on good water quality due to agricultural pollution.
v.Nitrates and pesticides pose a major threat to groundwater quality in North America and Europe.
UN-Water is the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related matters, including sanitation.
It was formalized in 2003 by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.
Chair of UN-Water– Gilbert F. Houngbo
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland