This week the world celebrates World Water Day - and this year it's more important than ever.
RECENT studies show that by 2025, half of the world’s population could face water scarcity. The theme for 2023 is “Valuing Water” - and this is about valuing water for all its uses, from the more obvious uses such as drinking and sanitation, to the less visible but equally important ways it supports human activities and ecosystems, such as farming. The campaign urges everyone to think about how water is used in their daily lives, and how they can help to conserve and protect it - because the truth is, we simply cannot live without it.
Organized by UN-Water, the annual event aims to create awareness of the universal need for access to safe and clean water. According to the UN, 2 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water - this not only affects their health, but also limits their opportunities for education and economic development.
Shreya Ramachandran, one of the 2021 finalists for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize, was inspired to tackle the issue when she saw water shortages impact her family internationally. “I witnessed water scarcity first hand in two very different communities, in California, but also in India. And I saw striking parallels between them. I saw how people had to truck water in for basic needs such as drinking and bathing.” she told a panel at SxSW Edu last week.
She was motivated to pursue solutions when she realized that many people were not aware of these issues and how they could impact them. “It was only after talking to people about the solutions that I'd been developing that I realized most people did not realize how big of a challenge water scarcity is. They didn't even know what grey water was.'' Her efforts culminated in the launch of her own non-profit called The Grey Water Project, which is dedicated to solving this issue by helping people incorporate grey water reuse systems into their homes.
Shreya’s efforts are incredible - but you don't need to go that far to make a difference. Every little helps, and you can make a difference today by changing the way you use and manage water in your home or community.
You have to start somewhere, so here are some simple changes you could implement today:
Fix any leaks in your home, check the taps, toilets, and plumbing
Make sure your dishwasher is full before running it
Take quick showers - ideally 2 or 3 minutes long
Switch off the tap while you brush your teeth