As always, World Water Day 2019 will be taking place on the 22nd of March and is a time to re-look at our water usage habits as individuals and as a community as a whole. This year, the focus is on #WaterForAll, ‘Leaving no-one behind’ and on reminding the world all about Sustainable Development Goal 6: by the year 2030, everyone living on our planet should have easy access to safe, clean water.

How Close Are We to Reaching That Goal?

The reality? Not very close at all. Billions of people worldwide still don’t have access to a safe water source. According to recent statistics released by the local Water and Sanitation Department, approximately 5 million people in South Africa alone don’t have access to reliable drinking water. Further to this, the Department revealed that out of all the waste-water treatment plants in existence in our country, only 56% of them are currently in working order.

Why Do Some People Get ‘Left Behind’?

According to the official World Water Day website, the following are some of the ‘grounds for discrimination’ that may result in certain people being particularly disadvantaged when it comes to accessing water:

  • Sex and gender
  • Race, ethnicity, religion, birth, caste, language, and nationality
  • Disability, age and health status
  • Property, tenure, residence, economic and social status

What Can YOU Do to Help?

The worldwide water crisis is a crisis that everyone needs to care about. Only if we work together to find sustainable solutions can we ensure that nobody gets left behind when it comes to water accessibility.

Begin by taking a close look at the way in which you use water each day. Are there certain things that you could be doing differently to save more water? Perhaps it’s a matter of wearing some items of clothing more than once before washing them to reduce the number of loads of laundry that you do every week? Or avoiding filling the bath tub all the way to the top? Maybe it’s time to do something about that suspected leak in your swimming pool to avoid re-filling it so often? If everyone makes an effort to reduce their water consumption, it will go a long way towards saving this precious resource and ensuring that more and more people have access to it.

Remember – whoever you are, wherever you are… water is your human RIGHT.