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World Water Day: A Call to Preserve Our Lifeline

By Bless Akotey | March 25, 2024  | Research impact Women researchers climate change

World Water Day: A Call to Preserve Our Lifeline

Have you ever paused to ponder a world devoid of water? It's a chilling thought, isn't it? Imagine no habitats for marine life, no sustenance to quench our thirst, and no nourishment for our crops and flora. Water, the elixir of life, serves as a vital cornerstone for our existence. Its significance cannot be overstated, which is why the United Nations has dedicated a day to honour and reflect upon this invaluable resource.

As we commemorate World Water Day, it's crucial to acknowledge the multifaceted roles water plays in our survival and well-being. From sustaining ecosystems to fulfilling our daily needs, its benefits are manifold. Yet, despite its undeniable importance, water remains a scarce commodity in many regions, leading to droughts and floods that wreak havoc on communities worldwide. 

The transboundary nature of water bodies has frequently raised concerns regarding political boundaries, leading to potential disputes over resource allocation and management. However, commendably, many of these disputes have been successfully addressed through the negotiation and implementation of international treaties and agreements (FAO-UN). Furthermore, beyond the challenges, there exists a positive dimension wherein individuals traverse various countries to explore the diverse array of water bodies and natural wonders, fostering opportunities for diplomatic engagement and peaceful cooperation among political leaders.UN Water graphic - in the top left is the text 22 March World Water Day 2024 Water for Peace. The image is a dark blue background with a light blue banner-like shape at the bottom with text 'Water for Peace'. In the centre is a mirrored-image of light blue water-like shapes connecting in a circle, with a yellow 'peace' symbol in the middle and two white doves in the centre. At the bottom of the circle is two yellow overlapping leafy stems.

We bear a collective responsibility to safeguard and conserve this precious resource for the betterment of present and future generations. The theme for this year's World Water Day, "Water for Peace,"  underscores the pivotal role water plays in fostering harmony and stability. However, achieving water security requires concerted efforts to address the disparities in access and availability. Researchers and policy makers are included in this crucial role.

Reflecting on the simple pleasures afforded by water – the exhilarating shower after a long day, the tranquil allure of a pristine beach – serves as a poignant reminder of its significance. Regrettably, such experiences remain elusive for millions due to the scarcity of safe water sources. Factors such as overexploitation, pollution, climate change, inadequate infrastructure, and rapid population growth exacerbate this issue, particularly in regions like Africa, which grapple with acute water insecurity.

To mitigate this crisis, individuals and organizations with influence must spearhead initiatives to expand access to clean and safe water. According to UNICEF, nearly two-thirds of the global population, roughly 5.4 billion people, face severe water scarcity for at least one month annually. These staggering statistics underscore the urgency of our collective action to safeguard water resources and ensure equitable access for all.

Bless stands on a low wall at the side of running water flowing from two very large pipe shaped structures. White buckets are around her feet. Bless wears a white t-shit and purple skirt.
'Save water for future peace’
Bless Akotey on site at a project

Every individual can contribute to this cause by adopting water-saving practices and minimizing pollution. In communities lacking access to potable water, leaders can promote rainwater harvesting techniques and advocate for the construction of boreholes to augment water supply. Global leaders must prioritize investments in desalination technologies and infrastructure for efficient water distribution, bridging the gap between water-rich and water-scarce regions. Understanding water resources including their distribution, quality and availability becomes easier with the aid of research. Additionally, policy makers will highly depend on research results or outcomes to implement creative solutions to challenging water problems as well as encouraging cooperation and knowledge exchange among nations dealing with comparable water related issues. Research enhances diplomatic ties between countries and supports peacebuilding efforts by promoting international cooperation.

By harnessing the power of innovation and collaboration, we can pave the way for a more water-secure future. World Water Day serves as a poignant reminder of our shared responsibility to steward this invaluable resource for the benefit of humanity and the planet. Let us heed the call to action, striving for a world where water is not a privilege but a fundamental human right.

As we celebrate World Water Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to "Water for Peace" and work tirelessly to ensure that every individual has access to this essential resource. Together, we can chart a course towards a more sustainable and equitable future, where water serves as a catalyst for peace, prosperity, and well-being.




Bless Akotey
Climate Change Lead, Dataking Consulting
Bio: A physics graduate with interest in climate change and Earth systems.


Thumbnail image: Photo by Andreas Gücklhorn on Unsplash

First image: UN Water Social Media Image for World Water Day

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