World Water Day
World Water Day (English)
Día Mundial del Agua (Español)
March 22nd is World Water Day. Founded in 1993 by the United Nations, this global observance highlights the need for the care and management of the world’s water resources. This year’s theme, “Urban Water Usage” highlights the ongoing challenges we face as urban populations continue to grow.
With an estimated one out of two people on the planet now living in cities, the pressure to meet our freshwater needs is at a breaking point. From supply, to sanitation, to usage, our infrastructure and resource management practices have pushed many areas past peak water capability. Not only does this affect public health and welfare, the effects from urban runoff, sewage spills and ocean intakes cause significant damage to our marine environments.
- Every eight months, 10.9 million gallons of oil runs off streets and driveways and into our nations waters – equivalent to the amount lost in the Exxon Valdez spill.
- Each year in the United States, there are approximately 20,000 beach closing and advisory days due to bacterial contamination and/or sewage spills.
- Every day, 43 wastewater treatment facilities in California discharge about 1.35 billion gallons of treated effluent into the Pacific Ocean.
- The good news is that each and every one of us can reduce our water footprint by making small changes in our day-to-day routines. These actions will not only help keep our oceans, waves and beaches clean, they could potentially help you save hundreds of dollars each year!
Learn more at Surfrider Foundation's World Water Day website.
World Water Day History
An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.
Themes from past years
|1994||Caring for Our Water Resources is Everyone's Business|
|1995||Women and Water|
|1996||Water for Thirsty Cities|
|1997||The Worlds Water - Is there Enough|
|1998||Groundwater - The Invisible Resource|
|1999||Everyone Lives Downstream|
|2000||Water for the 21st Century|
|2001||Water for Health - Taking Charge|
|2002||Water for Development|
|2003||Water for the Future|
|2004||Water and Disasters|
|2005||Water for Life 2005 - 2015|
|2006||Water and Culture|
|2008||International Year of Sanitation|
|2009||Shared Water - Shared Opportunities|
|2011||Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge|
|2012||Water and Food Security|
|2013||International Year of Water Cooperation|