World Water Day is an annual observance day on 22 March to highlight the importance of freshwater. It is also used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The first World Water Day, designated by the United Nations, was commemorated in 1993.
The global water crisis is one of the issues that calls for action. The challenges include water scarcity, water pollution, inadequate water supply and the lack of sanitation for billions of people in less developed countries. The day brings to light the inequality of access to WASH services and the need to assure the human right to water and sanitation.
World Water Day Theme 2018
UN-Water selects a theme for each year. The theme for 2018 is "Nature for Water" to encourage people to "look for the answer in nature". This year´s theme explores how nature can be used to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century. This could be in the form of nature-based solutions to reduce floods, droughts and water pollution and protect ecosystems. Restoring wetlands, implementing constructed wetlands, green roofs, green infrastructure, planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, are some examples. Each of these use natural processes to rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.
World Water Day is celebrated around the world with a variety of events. These can be educational, theatrical, musical or lobbying in nature. The day can also include campaigns to raise money for water projects.