3 December 2023

World Water Day


What do we mean when we say: ‘We cannot afford to wait. Climate policy makers must put water at the heart of action plans’?

Climate delay is almost as dangerous as climate denial. Every country in the world must work more quickly.

Extreme weather events are making water more scarce, more unpredictable, more polluted or all three.

Humans need water to survive, as do all the systems we rely on: sanitation, healthcare, education, business and industry.

Action plans to tackle climate change need to be integrated across different sectors and coordinated across borders. And they must have one thing in common: safe and sustainable water management.

Learn more in the UN-Water Policy Brief on Climate Change and Water.

What do we mean when we say: ‘Water can help fight climate change. There are sustainable, affordable and scalable water and sanitation solutions’?

Fighting climate change will open up vast opportunities for the economy in many areas. We need to embrace circular production systems and use water much more efficiently.

As the global population grows, so does the demand for water, which depletes natural resources and damages the environment in many places. Solutions include protecting carbon sinks such as oceans and wetlands, adopting climate-smart agricultural techniques, and increasing the safe reuse of wastewater.

Water is our most precious resource – we must use it more responsibly. We must balance all of society’s water needs while ensuring the poorest people don’t get left behind.

Learn more in the World Water Day Toolkit.

What do we mean when we say: ‘Everyone has a role to play. It is surprising how many water actions anyone, anywhere can take to address climate change.’?

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Warnings are necessary. But fear will not get the job done.”

Yes, climate change can feel scary and daunting. But there is one simple step you can take immediately that will make a big difference: don’t waste water.

Thousands of people are logging their climate actions on the United Nation’s ActNow website. Check out all the easy lifestyle changes that will help save the planet.


Water for handwashing in slums is critical to prevent COVID-19 spreading

Water for handwashing in slums is critical to prevent COVID-19 spreading

Regular handwashing with soap and running water can be difficult to put into practice due to lack of water in slums. Water points, when available, are only in certain locations and are even harder to access when there are restrictions on movement to prevent or contain an outbreak of COVID-19.

There is a high risk that the impacts of COVID-19 on the urban poor living in slums will be considerably higher compared to other areas as maintaining social distancing is extremely difficult in overcrowded areas.

Learn more.

Message from UN-Water Chair on World Water Day

Message from UN-Water Chair on World Water Day

“On World Water Day, 22 March, we release the 2020 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report.

This year’s report focuses on climate change and water. UN-Water’s Members and Partners chose this topic for 2020 because, right now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to put water at the heart of climate change negotiations.”

View video message by Gilbert F. Houngbo, Chair of UN-Water and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

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