Protecting our Future: Sustainable Water Use and the Fight Against Plastic on World Water Day
by Kay Baker on Mar 16, 2023
A recent study found up to 80% of its participants had detectable levels of mircoplastics (PET) in their bloodstreams (1). That’s 4 out of 5 people. A question that remains to be answered is “How does the plastic enter the body?”. With World Water Day approaching (March, 22nd), we take a look at what this day means and the importance of clean and fresh water.
World Water Day is celebrated every year on March 22nd to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater and the need for sustainable management of this precious resource. This day was first designated by the United Nations in 1993 and has since been observed annually to focus attention on the critical role that water plays in our lives and the environment.
Freshwater is a vital resource that is essential for human survival and development, yet it is becoming increasingly scarce due to population growth, urbanization, and climate change. According to the United Nations, 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. This lack of access to clean water and sanitation has serious health consequences, with waterborne diseases being a leading cause of death in many developing countries.
The management of freshwater resources is crucial to ensure their sustainability and availability for future generations. Sustainable water management involves the use of water resources in a way that balances environmental, economic, and social needs. This approach requires an integrated and collaborative approach involving stakeholders from different sectors and levels of governance.
One of the key components of sustainable water management is the conservation and protection of freshwater ecosystems, including rivers, lakes, and wetlands. These ecosystems are not only important for biodiversity but also provide essential services such as water purification, flood control, and nutrient cycling.
Another important aspect of sustainable water management is the efficient use of water resources. This involves reducing water waste, increasing water productivity, and using water in a way that minimizes its impact on the environment. This can be achieved through the adoption of water-saving technologies, such as drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting, as well as by promoting water-efficient practices in households, industries, and agriculture.
Finally, sustainable water management requires the development of policies and institutions that promote equitable access to water resources and ensure that water is allocated efficiently and fairly. This involves addressing the water needs of different sectors, such as agriculture, industry, and domestic use, and balancing these needs with environmental considerations.
World Water Day serves as a reminder of the importance of freshwater and the need for sustainable water management. The conservation and protection of freshwater ecosystems, efficient use of water resources, and the development of policies and institutions that promote equitable access to water are all crucial components of sustainable water management. By working together and adopting a holistic approach, we can ensure that water resources are managed in a way that meets the needs of present and future generations.
- Leslie H.A et al. Discovery and quantification of plastic particle pollution in human blood. 2022. Environment International. Vol. 163, 107199, ISSN 0160-4120, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2022.107199.