World Water Day is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of freshwater. It is coordinated by UN-Water and led by one or more UN-Water Members and Partners with a related mandate. World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
This year’s theme is valuing water. The 2021 campaign is generating a global, public conversation on social media about how people value water for all its uses. The aim is to create a more comprehensive understanding of how water is valued by different people in different contexts so we can safeguard this precious resource for everyone.
2021 World Water Development Report
- The 2021 World Water Development Report assesses the ways in which water is valued across different sectors and identifies how this process can be improved, with a view to better evaluate what water is worth to our societies.
- See in chapter 10 (page 138) for a reference to the Valuing Water work being done by the 2030 WRG Bangladesh Water Multi-Stakeholder Platform.
Five different perspectives on Valuing Water
- Valuing water sources – natural water resources and ecosystems
- Valuing water infrastructure – storage, treatment and supply
- Valuing water services – drinking water, sanitation and health services
- Valuing water as an input to production and socio-economic activity – food and agriculture, energy and industry, business and employment
- Valuing socio-cultural aspects of water – recreational, cultural and spiritual attributes
The Position Paper on Valuing Water in Bangladesh, recently published by 2030 WRG, the Government of Bangladesh, and the High-Level and Technical Valuing Water Committees of the Bangladesh Water Multi-Stakeholder Platform (BWMSP), outlines the importance of Valuing Water and provides some thoughts as to how this can be done. The position paper includes case studies on how these three approaches have been applied in the country. These case studies focus on agricultural practices in Barind Tract, falling groundwater tables in Dhaka, and balancing competing water demands in Halda River.
The position paper discusses three possible approaches to Valuing Water:
- The revealed preference approach observes peoples’ behavior in markets where water is a relevant variable;
- The cost-based approach infers the value of water based on costs incurred to mitigate damage or replace the ecosystem services, or avoided costs if the ecosystem services are maintained; and
- The stated preference approach involves directly asking stakeholders about their preferences around water.
UN General Assembly: High Level Panel on Water
Ahead of World Water Day, the President of the General Assembly convened a one-day high-level meeting to promote the implementation of the water-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda in support of the implementation of the Decade on Water and Sustainable Development (2018-2028) and the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF).
Members discussed the implementation of the Water-related goals and targets of the 2030 agenda, urgent action on water for 2030, and a sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Two panel discussions were held on Data and Information and Governance, and Financing, Innovation and Capacity Building. Watch the recording here.
As the World Bank Group aspires to foster a green, resilient, inclusive and transformative recovery around the world, the Water Global Practice rises to the challenges of climate change and COVID-19 in its yearly flagship event:Water Online Week 2021: Water, Climate, Action!
Joined by decision-makers, influencers and experts, the World Bank Water Global Practice, theGlobal Water Security and Sanitation Partnership(GWSP) and the2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) will highlight the critical importance of delivering water supply and sanitation services, sustaining water resources and building resilience during a week-long virtual event. The vision of a Water-Secure World for All is key to fostering green energy, ensuring food security, and promoting healthy behaviors that will underpin a sustainable future for people and the planet.
2030 WRG co-hosted the CEO Panel that was held during the opening on Monday, 22 March, 2021. Featured external guest speakers included:
- Natarajan Chandrasekharan, Chairman of the Tata Group
- ZoueraYoussoufou, Managing Director and CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation
- Lydie Hudson, CEO of Sustainability, Research and Investment Solutions of Credit Suisse
The Forum | Scientists looked at more than 200,000 bodies of water from space. This is why.
World Economic Forum writer Joe Myers writes that researchers have used NASA satellite data to examine 227,386 bodies of water to understand more about the extent of human influence on the global hydrological cycle. He notes that such research is “essential for the sustainability of freshwater resources on Earth”, the scientists involved say in introducing their research. Their most striking finding? Humans are responsible for more than half (57%) of the fluctuations in seasonal surface water storage.
Read the story here and find out what the World Economic Forum is doing about closing the gap between global water demand and supply through its collaboration with 2030 WRG.
Unilever | Six actions we’re taking to secure water for all
On World Water Day we look at six ways Unilever is innovating and collectively working with partners to secure water for all. And we hear from the people working on these projects who tell us what the value of water means to them.
“Through innovation, partnership and stewardship, we can change the narrative around water from one that’s solely focused on risk to one that is focused on resilience. From one where water is a threat to one that is thinking about water as an opportunity,” explains Rochi Khemka, Global Partnerships Coordinator with 2030 WRG. Read the statement here.
PepsiCo | PepsiCo helps more than 55 million people globally gain access to safe water with partners
PepsiCo Inc, and the PepsiCo Foundation announced this week that the company has helped more than 55 million people gain access to safe water globally since 2006 and catalyzed nearly $700 million in additional funding to support safe water access investments in partnership with leading non-profits worldwide. The milestone announced today marks significant progress towards PepsiCo’s goal of reaching 100 million people with safe water by 2030. The Foundation also announced today new programs to help communities recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Building sustainable, resilient societies that can respond to shocks and stresses like the COVID-19 crisis requires strong cross-sectoral collaboration. PepsiCo has pioneered safe water access since 2006 and championed multi-stakeholder models globally with leading partners as an effective construct to build trust and tackle interconnected issues related to water security,” saidKarin Krchnak, Program Manager, 2030 Water Resources Group. “Together, we’ve helped unlock the transformative force of business alongside civil society organizations and governments as a bridge to greater cooperation and positive development results.”
The 2030 Water Resources Group and the Water Authority of Mongolia will establish a Groundwater Management Centre on the basis of the developed national groundwater dashboard to support decisions on groundwater availability & water allocation. Learn more (text only in Mongolian).
IWRA | World Water Day Webinar
Please see our participation in the World Water Day webinars organized by IWRA on World Water Day. This year’s theme was ‘Valuing Water’ and our colleagues Tanzeem Qayyum and Jennifer Gulland gave their expert insights as part of an international panel. Over 500 registered attendees from 57 countries participated.