World Water Day 2016: Water and Jobs

Tanja Folnovic

Agronomy Expert

World Water Day tries to remind people about the significance of freshwater and to promote sustainability for fresh water resources management. It’s a day to celebrate water and to prepare for water management in the future.

World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Since then it has been held annually and each year has its own theme.

This year's theme is water and jobs, which shows how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods - and even transform societies and economies. It focuses on the central role that water plays in creating and supporting good quality jobs.

Water is the essential building block of life. But it's more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social and human development.

Today, almost half of the world's workers (1.5 billion people) work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in the water related businesses are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights.

Women drinking water from barrel

Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services is vital to human health. However, about 650 million people, or 10% of the world's population, do not have access to safe water, putting them at risk of infectious diseases and premature death.

One of the ideas behind having a special day is to make people think twice about how much water they waste. People who have plentiful access to water are encouraged to try not turning on their taps all day. Water is a finite resource that is fundamental to human well-being. Don't waste it.


Water access infographic


Source: UN Water

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