Many UN entities work on water issues - distributing drinking water during disasters, protecting ecosystems, making sure that water is of sufficient quality, ensuring that our cities have enough water infrastructure, measuring the progress of access to sanitation, looking at how we will have enough water to make food. The list is long. Many organizations around the world also work on these issues. To be as strong, as effective and to have as big of an impact as possible, these organizations come together to work through UN-Water.
UN-Water coordinates the UN's work on water and sanitation for a better world. Through UN-Water, UN entities and international partners work together to place water and sanitation as top issues and 21st Century essential knowledge. World Water Day is one of UN-Water's campaigns that aims to inform, engage and inspire action. International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March. The United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of water.
People are left behind without safe water for many different reasons. The following are some of the ‘grounds for discrimination’ that cause certain people to be particularly disadvantaged when it comes to accessing water:
Sex and gender Race, ethnicity, religion, birth, caste, language, and nationality Disability, age, and health status Property, tenure, residence, economic and social status
Other factors, such as environmental degradation, climate change, population growth, conflict, forced displacement and migration flows can also disproportionately affect marginalized groups through impacts on water.
Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers, and lakes.
When we neglect our ecosystems, we make it harder to provide everyone with the water we need to survive and thrive.
Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of our water challenges. We need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.