The answer is in nature
World Water Day 2018 is about focusing on nature, as nature plays an essential part in addressing the water challenges of the 21st century.
More than 663 million people still lack access to safe drinking water. Taking into account the expected population growth, industrial development and the extension of irrigated agriculture, the need for water will only increase between now and 2020. Water shortages tend to amplify, along with water pollution and water-related disasters.
In 1993, the United Nations designated 22 March as World Water Day, with the intention of increasing awareness of national and global water problems. The theme for World Water Day 2018 is 'Nature for Water'. It draws attention to Sustainable Development Goal 6.6: protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes, by 2020.
The world is changing, which entails new challenges for sustainable water management. Environmental damage, in combination with climate change, causes global water crises which are starting to be felt today. Affected vegetation, soil, rivers and lakes aggravate floods, droughts and water pollution. These damaged ecosystems in turn affect the quantity and quality of the water available for human consumption. Through the theme ‘nature for water’, the international community wants to demonstrate that nature plays an essential part in addressing the water challenges of the 21st century.
All kinds of ‘natural’ solutions such as reforestation, planting new vegetation, developing green infrastructure and preserving wetlands can restore the balance in the water chain. Hence, nature can help providing the world with sufficient quantities of safe drinking water.
World Water Day 2018 is also the kick-off for the ‘International Decade for Action - Water for Sustainable Development’. The UN want to put a greater focus on water from 2018 to 2028, as water is essential for the eradication of poverty and hunger!