The importance of “Valuing Water” on World Water Day

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World Water Day is celebrated each year to raise awareness on scarcity issues and the importance of conservation and management of supplies. The event has been observed since 1993, following the recommendation of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and provides an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which we use water and to evaluate our impact on the environment. 

Water is an essential resource for life on earth, yet millions of people lack access to safe and clean supply. In fact, it is estimated that by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in areas with water scarcity. This year’s theme for World Water Day is “Valuing Water,” which highlights the true value of water beyond its monetary worth. 

One of the key messages of World Water Day is the need to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for everyone. This is a fundamental human right that is essential for survival, health, education, and economic development.   

Another important message is the need to promote sustainable water resource management. This involves balancing the needs of humans and the environment, as well as ensuring that resources are used in a way that is both efficient and equitable. Sustainable management can help to prevent water scarcity, reduce the impact of climate change, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity. 

By balancing water needs and requirements for the environment requires a multidisciplinary approach that considers social and economic factors. 

  1. Adopt sustainable management practices such as rainwater harvesting and recycling as well as wastewater treatment can reduce water stress on the environment and ensure equitable access to water. 
  2. Encouraging conservation practices such as reducing unnecessary water consumption, fixing leaks, and using water-efficient appliances can support demand and pressure on the environment.   
  3. Implementing policies, regulations and institutions that promote equitable distribution and allocation can ensure that water resources are shared fairly and sustainably.  
  4. Implementing adaptive management that allows for flexibility and adjustment based on changing environmental conditions can ensure that resources are managed in a sustainable and equitable manner.  

A new report by the United Nations highlights the ongoing pressing issue of water scarcity that has been plaguing several regions around the world.  Climate change, increased population and demand for water resources has been surging clean sustainable supply has been decreasing. As a result, we have seen water shortages specifically in developing nations, which have far-reaching consequences for local communities.  

The report stresses the importance of addressing these issues on a global level through policy interventions, technological innovations, and community-driven initiatives.  The report places an emphasis on cooperation and collective action among countries to ensure equitable distribution of clean water to prevent future conflicts arising from scarcity. 

How can procurement support this

  • Implement sustainable procurement practices by considering environmental, social, and economic impact of procurement decisions.
  • Choose suppliers who prioritise sustainable practices in their operations, products and services.
  • Implement water-efficient procurement practices by choosing products that use less water in their production and implementing water-saving measures.
  • Work with suppliers and stakeholders to develop and implement sustainable water management strategies, such as water recycling, rainwater harvesting, and water conservation practices.
  • Adopt sustainable procurement practices to help ensure the long term availability of water resources and contribute to global efforts to address water scarcity.