World Water Day

Water is one of the most important things in the world. Without clean water, society wouldn’t be able to function, and life itself wouldn’t even be possible. It’s necessary to keep humans, animals, and plants alive; without it, this planet would be barren. Since water is one of the most valuable resources in the world, it’s a good reason for everyone, everywhere, to observe World Water Day.

This holiday is designed to bring attention to the importance of freshwater and to educate the public on the need for adequate management of water resources all over the globe. As can be gathered from its name, this holiday is observed worldwide.

The History of World Water Day

World Water Day was initially proposed in 1992 in Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is a UN non-binding action plan that’s used with regard to sustainable development. It was then formally submitted to the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development. When that was all ironed out, the first World Water Day was officially observed the following year, in 1993.

Important Facts About Water

As we researched World Water Day and started learning more about water, we came to the conclusion that water is not only a necessity of life but also pretty amazing. How amazing is water? Well, we’ll let you decide for yourself after you read the following factoids about it.

  • 97% of the water in the world is ocean saltwater. The other 2% is trapped in ice, and 1% is groundwater.
  • Approximately 30% of fresh water is groundwater.
  • In the U.S., approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used each day.
  • The average American household uses about 100,000 gallons of water per year.
  • Jellyfish are about 95% water. So are cucumbers.
  • The urban poor in Nairobi pay ten times more for water than New York City residents.
  • Approximately 40 billion hours are spent by people collecting water in Africa alone every year.
  • Water expands by about 9% when it freezes solid.
  • Americans drink about a billion gallons of tap water a day.
  • To manufacture 1 ton of steel takes about 300 tons of water.
  • Americans use almost 6 billion gallons every day just by flushing the toilet.
  • It takes twice as much water to grow coffee as it does to grow tea.

World Water Day Customs & Celebrations

On this day, events are held all over the world to raise money for WASH facilities in developing countries. WASH is an acronym that stands for water, sanitation, and hygiene—something that’s severely lacking in some countries. This holiday is a good day for people to raise money for these programs so that everyone can have access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. Another way that you can observe World Water Day is by thinking about how you use water and ways that you can use less water. Doing simple things like putting a brick in the back of the toilet tank or turning off the water while you brush your teeth can make all the difference in the world. This holiday is also used to commemorate the people who work in the water industry. Worldwide, there are over 1.5 billion people working in water-related sectors. That’s half of all the workers in the world.

Every year, the United Nations creates a theme for World Water Day. In the first year it was observed, in 1994, the theme was “Caring for our water resources is everyone’s business.” The year after that, in 1995, the theme was “Women & Water.” Other themes include “Water for the 21st Century” in 2000, “Water for Future” in 2003, and “Water & Climate Change” in 2021.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 22 Friday
Next year (2025)
March 22 Saturday
Last year (2023)
March 22 Wednesday
Nature & Environment, United Nations