From Flint Michigan to villages in Africa and Asia, children and families lack access to safe water.
When I was a kid, I hated drinking water. My parents would explain that water was good for me, that it helped me stay healthy and strong, and how important it was to keep myself hydrated. Despite knowing this, I still hated it, but not anymore. Now, every time I reach for a glass of water, I try to remember to be grateful, and I feel particularly grateful as we begin World Water Week.
Water and Waste: Reduce and Reuse
Hosted and organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, World Water Week brings together leading water experts, global leaders, communities and everyday people to address the planet’s water issues. This year, the theme is “Water and Waste: Reduce and Use” and it explores how using less water is essential making it safer and more accessible to all.
From Flint Michigan to villages in Africa and Asia, children and families lack access to safe water. Water is not just important for drinking to keep the body hydrated, it’s also important for cooking, washing, sanitation so much more. Unfortunately, one billion people still do not have access to safe water. This impacts people’s health, educational opportunities, and their ability to live fulfilling lives. For example, many girls cannot go to school because they must walk several miles a day to get water for their families. This is just one example of the devastating impact of not having easy access to water and unfortunately there are many more.
- 663 million people are still without access to clean drinking water, despite the Millennium Development Goal target for clean water being met in 2010.
- 8 out of 10 people without access to clean water live in rural areas.
- 159 million people use untreated water from lakes and rivers, the most unsafe water source there is.
Water is fundamental to achieving the Global Goals.
The good news is that since 1990, 2.6 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water. Today, 91% of the world’s population drink clean water. And, many organizations are working tirelessly to help reach those who are left behind, like the UN. To demonstrate that water is central to life, the UN does not have one department for water, rather according to UN Water’s website, over 30 UN bodies work on this very important issue. Each of these organizations are working toward Global Goal 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
While world leaders, water experts and others take this week to discuss solutions, we can do our part to raise awareness. If we all work together this World Water Week and every week, we can achieve Global Goal 6, and ensure sure that all people have access to safe water.
*Water stats courtesy of UNICEF.
Header photo: UN Photo/Kibae Park
Take Action Challenge
- Get the facts! Learn more about World Water Week and check out UNICEF’s WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygeine) program that’s helping to bring clean and accessible water to communities around the world.
- Help spread the word! Visit www.globalgoals.org for photos and videos you can use to raise awareness of Global Goal 6: www.globalgoals.org/global-goals/clean-water-sanitation. Be sure to tag you posts with #WorldWaterWeek