Why waste water? World Water Day 2017

UNCCD Photo contest 2013 Maria Francesca Avila

By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions.  In the meanwhile, we continuously waste precious natural resources like land and water.

A number of statistics indicate that we are wasting our natural capital at an accelerating pace. Poorly-managed natural capital is not only an ecological liability but also a social and economic threat. The overexploitation of natural capital can be disastrous, and not just in terms of land degradation and water scarcity. The loss of ecosystem productivity and resilience makes many regions more prone to extreme weather events such as floods, landslides and droughts.

Drought and water scarcity are considered to be the most far-reaching of all natural disasters, causing short and long-term economic and ecological losses as well as significant secondary and tertiary impacts. In the coming decades, drought is projected to increase in frequency, severity, duration and spatial extent. More and more people will suffer, and even fight, because of water scarcity.

This year, the World Water Day sends a message to everyone for taking action on reducing and reusing wastewater under the theme, “Why waste water?” 

Think about this. Collectively, women from Sub-Saharan Africa spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water. How much water do you waste a day? Why waste water?


Further readings:

World Water Development Report 2017, “Wastewater, The Untapped Resource”
Factsheet World Water Day 2017
Issues: Land and Drought