For many people in the world, clean water is so common that we tend to forget how very important it is, how very uncommon it is for so many other populations around the globe. Water is the cornerstone of our existence, and in 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared that March 22 was to be recognized as such in the form of the “World Day for Water.” This designation was meant to bring awareness as to the value of water in life and health, industry and energy, society and culture.
Crystal Clear Bottled Water has always understood the importance of water for a healthy life; it’s our business. In deference to World Water Day, which landed on March 22, we are giving our readers a blog post to highlight the focus of the theme from this year’s World Water Day: Water and Energy, as well as to give a brief summary of the history and purpose of the day.
United Nations “World Day for Water”
According to the United Nations, “International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.” In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recommended designating a specific day to bring attention to the fact that freshwater and freshwater resources are not absolute, and must be managed in a sustainable manner.
In conjunction with the work done by the United Nations and its participating member states for World Water day, there are many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that also use the day to try and capture public attention on water issues of our time.
Every year brings with it a new theme for World Water day; since 1993 the UN has focused its attention on issues ranging from “Groundwater – The Invisible Resource” (1998) to “Water and Disasters” (2004). The theme for this year, “Water and Energy” was meant to showcase the indivisibility of water and energy: water requires energy and energy requires water.
Water and Energy 2014
Taken as general knowledge, water is an essential element for the health of our bodies. Water functions as a lubricant for human tissues and organs; it is part of the process that creates the lubrication for our eyes, brain and spinal column, as well as our joints. Water is an integral part of the digestion of food and the movement of nutrients throughout the rest of the body; it also plays a crucial part in the bodily regulation of temperature.
What people might forget when it comes to water is that it is so closely connected to energy generation and transmission, especially for nuclear, hydroelectric and thermal energy sources. Water isn’t just a building block for life within our bodies, it’s also a building block for the life and energy production around us.
The United Nations presented five key messages for World Water Day 2014:
- Water requires energy and energy requires water
Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. Energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment and distribution.
- Supplies are limited and demand is increasing
Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase significantly over the coming decades. This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions, especially in developing and emerging economies.
- Saving energy is saving water. Saving water is saving energy
Choices concerning the supply, distribution, price, and use of water and energy impact one another.
- The “bottom billion” urgently needs access to both water and sanitation services, and electricity
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity, 768 million people lack access to improved water sources and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.
- Improving water and energy efficiency is imperative as are coordinated, coherent and concerted policies
Better understanding between the two sectors of the connections and effects on each other will improve coordination in energy and water planning, leading to the reduction of inefficiencies. Policy-makers, planners and practitioners can take steps to overcome the barriers that exist between their respective domains. Innovative and pragmatic national policies can lead to more efficient and cost effective provision of water and energy services.
Awareness of the fragility of the world’s freshwater supply has slowly been growing over time, and through the United Nations and the organizations that work toward the same goals, that awareness has been spreading through specialized occasions like World Water Day.