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March 22, 2019 is World Water Day

Water is essential to all life. Yet in many parts of the world, access to clean and safe drinking water remains elusive. On March 22nd, 2019, the United Nations will hold World Water Day to raise awareness of this fact and inspire citizen action in securing water resources. The annual event bolsters the U.N’s Sustainable Development Goal #6: clean water and sanitation for all.

More people experience water scarcity than not

The U.N. defines safe water as “accessible on the premises, available when needed and free from contamination.” To this end, the theme of World Water Day 2019 is “Leaving no one behind.” The message calls attention to the approximately four billion people who suffer serious water scarcity for at least one month every year. People who routinely live in water crisis account for nearly two-thirds of the global population.

Many reasons for lack of clean water

With all the advances in technology and engineering, why is it still difficult to bring clean and safe water to everyone? The reasons are plentiful, including climate change, political instability and corruption, conflict zones, forced migration, environmental damage and more. Some areas carry the burden of several reasons all at once. In an effort to find clean, safe water, the U.N. predicts that 700 million people around the world will be displaced by water scarcity issues by the year 2030.

Wealthy countries also face water issues

In affluent societies, it’s hard for people to imagine having to flee their home in search of drinking water. However, pure, clean water is never truly guaranteed. To highlight this reality, Rhea Suh, the president of the National Resources Defense Council, recently wrote in National Geographic that “roughly a quarter of Americans drink from water systems that violate the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

Find a World Water Day Event near you

Throughout human history, people have celebrated water in many different ways. On March 22nd, all global citizens will have the opportunity to unify and celebrate it together on World Water Day. From Canada to Sri Lanka, and many places in between, events are being planned across the globe to raise awareness and increase access for all to clean, safe drinking water. Join an event near you—or create your own to add to the international calendar.

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