Taking place on March 22nd of every year, World Water Day is an opportunity to appreciate a most precious resource we undoubtedly take for granted. More importantly, it serves as a call for us all to become champions for progress by providing solutions to the pressing global water crisis. World Water Day, founded by the United Nations some 20 years ago, draws attention to more than just conservation and the environment. It highlights the fact that water is connected to poverty, economic development, and health. In the absence of clean water, a society can fail to function entirely. Thus, World Water Day is hope for the 650 million people living without access to clean water who spend endless hours trekking to distant, polluted sources and suffer from serious negative health impacts caused by contaminated water.
Each year, World Water Day takes on a theme, this year’s being wastewater. Every time we use water, we unfortunately produce wastewater whether it be from our homes, cities, industry, or agriculture. A whopping 80% of this water flows down the drain and back into nature without being treated our reused. This is a process that pollutes the environment and loses valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. Bottom line: we need to stop wasting wastewater with the goal of reducing and reusing it. This means reusing greywater on our gardens at home, treating and reusing wastewater for green systems in our cities, and treating and recycling discharge from industry and agriculture to use for things like cooling systems and irrigation. Exploiting this valuable resource will give the water cycle a more functional existence, working better for living beings across the board.
In light of this theme, we have come up with some small scale ways YOU can reduce the quantity and pollution of your wastewater.
- Turn off the tap while you’re doing the dishes or brushing your teeth. If you leave the tap running, you are just making wastewater without even using it!
- Put food, rubbish, and chemicals in the trash instead of down the drain. The dirtier your wastewater is, the more money and energy it costs to treat it.
- Collect used water from your kitchen sink or bathrobe and use it on your garden or to wash your car.
All in all: we encourage you to think about the hidden meaning of water not just on World Water Day, but everyday. That’s what we do at Waiakea thanks to our partnership with Pump Aid. For every liter of Waiakea purchased, we donate 650 liters of clean water to those in need in Subsaharan Africa. Along with being a fundamental human right, access to safe water is a kickstarter for measurable improvements in health, education, and economic opportunity across impoverished communities.