The International Challenge of World Water Day—March 22nd!

As Clean Water for NC and all of our members and allies continue to work for Safe, Affordable Water for All in our state, it’s crucial to keep in mind that much of the world lacks the water and wastewater management that we’ve MOSTLY been able to take for granted in the US. The theme of this year’s United Nations World Water Day is “Valuing Water,” calling on individuals and nations to assess the complex multiple values water holds in our lives, health, culture and economies and making decisions to protect, restore and manage it accordingly.

A strong focus of this year’s celebration is achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by the UN’s target date of 2030. The SDG’s are all very ambitious, including eliminating poverty in all of its forms by 2030 (SDG #1), but they are all rooted in achieving long overdue justice for all of Earth’s people. While the extreme impact of Covid-19 on health, economies and even culture has pushed us all further back on many of these goals, now is the time to recommit to the shared work and increasing funding to achieve them! More than 2 billion people internationally lack sustainably managed safe drinking water and more than 3 billion lack safe wastewater management. Click here to see all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Many of us have visited at least one foreign country in our lifetimes, and it’s eye opening to see where many nations stand in terms of achieving Goal 6. To find out how a nation you are concerned about is doing in their struggle to achieve sustainable management of water and wastewater, explore at the SDG Goal 6 “Data Portal”. You can select a region of the world and specific nation to find a detailed assessment of where they stand on water and wastewater management!

Let’s celebrate World Water Day by recommitting to our water and taking collective action to strengthen protections for NC’s streams, rivers and groundwater, as sources of all our drinking water, and assuring that costs for water and wastewater management are affordable for all!

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