World Water Day is an annual initiative by the UN to help tackle the global water and sanitation crisis. This year the theme is accelerating change. Right now we are seriously off-track to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and sanitation for all by 2023. To accelerate change we need more action.
What’s the issue?
According to the World Health Organisation, 1.4 million people die annually and 74 million will have their lives shortened by diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. One in four people around the world lack safe drinking water, and almost half of the global population lack safe sanitation. 44% of household waste water is not safely treated, potentially causing disease and pollution.
In addition to this, 50% of the planet’s wetlands have been lost since 1900. Loss of wetlands removes habitats for many species, reduces carbon capturing plants and soils, and destroys an ecosystem that naturally filters water and defends against floods.
Global water demand is predicted to increase by 55% by 2050, mainly because of increased demand from manufacturing, driven by growing populations.
How we can help
We can all make a difference by changing the way we use, consume and manage water. Here are a few simple changes to help solve the water and sanitation crisis:
- Take shorter showers, and don’t let the tap run whilst brushing your teeth and doing the dishes.
- Don’t put food waste, oils, medicines and chemicals down the drain or toilet.
- Buy local, seasonal food and look for products made with less water.
- Take part in clean-ups of local rivers, lakes, wetlands or beaches. Join one of Plastic Free Hackney’s monthly pollution picks
- Choose GOTS Certified organic cotton, which reduces water consumption by up to 91% compared to conventionally produced cotton.