Today marks the 26th annual World Water Day, a special day set up by the United Nations to highlight the importance of clean, fresh water in all of our lives, worldwide.
Each year, World Water Day embodies a different thought-provoking theme, intended to stimulate debate and drive policy-making in service of meaningful, positive social and environmental change.
Last year, Greenbelt supported the theme of “nature for water” – examining nature-based solutions to protect ecosystems, reduce preventable disasters and improve access to clean, safe drinking water the world over.
According to UN figures, some 2.1 billion people still live without a safe water source at home – that’s almost a third of the planet.
In our modern age of instant gratification, it’s rightly shocking that nearly one in three human beings lack access to something so fundamental as a clean, safe source of water for drinking or bathing.
That’s why World Water Day 2019 focuses on the theme of “leaving no-one behind” – so the project’s Sustainable Development Goal #6 (“ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030”) really means no vulnerable group or location is ever overlooked for long.
“The theme for World Water Day 2019 is ‘leaving no-one behind’,” says the official fact sheet for this year’s event, available to view or download for free here.
“Today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggle to survive.
“Marginalised groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked and sometimes face discrimination as they try to access the safe water they need.
“Access to water underpins public health, and is therefore critical to sustainable development and a stable, prosperous world.
“We cannot move forward as a society while so many people are living without safe water.
“Whoever you are, wherever you are – water is your human right.”
At Greenbelt, we know this is a huge issue that affects many people all over the world.
While we sadly cannot look to tackle this global issue alone or head-on, we recognise World Water Day is crucial in raising awareness and bringing people together in service of a greater common goal.
If we try to be mindful and make positive, environmentally-beneficial decisions on an individual level – we can all still make real changes for the better.
If you’d like to find out more about Greenbelt’s Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems – which protect housing developments from flood risk, actively filter pollutants from local water tables, and serve as vital urban wildlife habitats on more than 100 locations UK-wide – you can read more here.