World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) is annually observed across the globe on 18 September to raise awareness about the significance of monitoring water sources regularly and to educate and recognise the importance of protecting the world’s water resources.
Note: Every year, around 150 countries come together to honour WWMD on September 18.
i.World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) was proclaimed by America’s Clean Water Foundation (ACWF) as an international outreach program in 2003.
- The outreach program is intended to educate and involve citizens in the protection of water resources around the world.
ii.WWMD is officially celebrated on September 18. It was initially chosen to be a month later on October 18 to recognize the anniversary of the United States of America (US) Clean Water Act, which was enacted by the US Congress in 1972 to restore and protect America’s water resources.
iii.The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) coordinate WWMD internationally.
iv.In 2009, the program introduced an extended monitoring period from March 22 until December 31 in order to accommodate groups that wish to monitor at other times during the year.
Why changed from October 18 to September 18?
i.In 2007, organizers decided to move WWMD to September 18th. The reason for this change was to encourage global participation, including regions where the month of October experiences freezing temperatures.
ii.The shift to September has allowed participation from across the world, fostering a global commitment to monitoring and preserving water resources.
EarthEcho Water Challenge:
The EarthEcho Water Challenge (formerly World Water Monitoring Challenge) is a program of EarthEcho International that runs annually from March 22 (the United Nations World Water Day) through December and equips anyone to protect the water resources we depend on every day.
i.According to the 2023 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR):
- Water use has been increasing globally by roughly 1% per year over the last 40 years and is expected to grow at a similar rate through 2050.
- The overall global demand for water will continue to increase at an annual rate of about 1%, resulting in an increase of between 20 to 30% by 2050, with a margin of error of more than 50%
ii.World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) states that almost 2 billion people depend on healthcare facilities without basic water services.
iii.According to WHO, 80% of diseases worldwide are linked to poor water quality, making it crucial to monitor water to prevent illnesses for future generations.
iv.According to the US Geological Survey:
- More than 68% of the fresh water on Earth is found in icecaps and glaciers, and just over 30% is found in groundwater.
- Only about 0.3% of our freshwater is found in the surface water of lakes, rivers, and swamps.
- Of all the water on Earth, more than 99% of Earth’s water is unusable by humans and many other living things.
About EarthEcho International (EarthEcho):
Executive Director– Mia DeMezza
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., USA
Founded in– 2005