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28th August – 2nd September is World Water Week

Without water, there would be no life on this planet. Unfortunately, some people in this world do not get enough of it, or do not get enough clean water. Access to clean water is considered a basic human right. Many diseases have taken their toll in the past and in developing countries today. It is enough of a problem that global water organisations have an annual World Water Week symposium.

world water weekThe Water Issues We Face Today

In the developed and the developing world, we presently face a number of water issues. The majority of these threats are a result of climate change. We are already seeing incredible change to ecosystems due to changes in water bodies and ecology.

Flooding

The increase in flooding we have seen throughout the world in recent years is proving devastating for some communities. Often, the same people are forced from their homes in consecutive years to let flood waters abate. It’s proving expensive for government and for our insurance premiums. It is not just happening in the developing world either.

Drought

We in the developed world are not immune from drought, even though we do have the framework to cope. Some countries in the developing world are not so lucky, especially those in dry central Africa that relies on seasonal rain for crops. Climate change is making both flooding and drought more erratic and more intense.

Disease

Water borne diseases such as cholera and those that spread through water-thriving species (such as malarial mosquitos) are a constant threat in the developing world. There is also some evidence that malaria is once again making its way into Europe. This year, we have seen the Zika Virus spread throughout South America too. Much of these issues surround water and issues of water.

Food

Not only do we need water to drink, we also need enough of it to water crops. Flood and drought not only impacts our drinking water, but food supply too. As the world starts to understand the effect of climate change on water bodies, we see problems in areas with little water. Nobody wants to make the choice between eating and drinking.

Water Security

This is a relative new concept but it covers issues of protecting water supply from some of the issues presented here, and more. Water security is the capacity that a population has to protect its access to a water supply that is of adequate quantity and quality water for the good of the population and the ecosystem.

This Year’s Theme

Word Water Week is not a charity with any major active outreach in which the public are encouraged to participate. However, this important conference event could potentially affect us all. Every year, professionals come together for a conference to discuss the planet’s water issues. They cover five basic areas: governance, water management across boundaries, climate change and its impact on water, the water-energy-food nexus, and the economics of water.

This year’s theme is sustainable communities. This is in line with the United Nations theme of “Water and Jobs” for 2016. Our need for water for work – agriculture, commerce and industry, needs to be secured and sustainably so in order that we do not overuse it and damage the ecosystem and livelihoods of the people who use it.

Is There Anything You Can Do To Help?

You may not be able to attend the conference in Stockholm, but there are ways you can help improve water security. Charities such as Water Aid UK, UNICEF’s Clean Water campaign, Pump Aid and others are dedicated to improving water supplies throughout the world, particularly in the developing world. Making a regular donation to charities such as these can improve the water situation elsewhere in the world.

At home, in order to aid your own water security, you can install water saving devices. They are available for your bath, shower and toilet. Ensure that your plumbing is up to date and correct any drips. Water security affects us all; not only will you be reducing your water bill, you will also be easing the strain on our national water supply.