March 22: World Water Day – what is it and why is it important?

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World Water Day – what does it mean to you?

The annual event, March 22, is a devastating reminder of one simple thing we take for granted – clean, safe water to drink, clean our things with and bathe in.

The day is held to urge people to tackle the global water crisis.

It’s a reminder that 1.8 billion people’s drinking water is contaminated with faeces.

Dirty drinking water is truly horrifying – drinking it puts people at risk of contracting everything from cholera and dysentery to typhoid and polio.

What is World Water Day?

World Water Day is part of a global mission to get safer water for all.

It’s a day for people to learn, get involved and take action.

This is the 24th year, and it’s organised by UN Water in collaboration with governments and partners.

The United Nations organisation sets a theme each year.

What’s that?

Wastewater is water that has been used.

This includes water from homes, businesses, industries and institutions.

The term covers everything from sewage and bathwater to washing up water.

This year’s campaign, ‘Why waste water?’, is about reducing and reusing wastewater.

How can I waste less water?

UN Water suggests taking these simple steps –

1. Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth

2. Turn off the tap while washing up or scrubbing vegetables.

3. Put rubbish, oils, chemicals and food in the bin, not down the drain. The dirtier your wastewater, the more energy and money it costs to treat it.

4. Collect used water from your kitchen sink or bath and use it to water your plants

5. You cans also collect and use this water to wash your bike or car.

How else can I get involved in World Water Day 2017?

You can take part in Water Aid UK’s campaign to raise awareness and funds.

Whether you decide to dye your hair blue, bake blue cakes to sell in the office or simply use the hashtag #Blue4Water on social media to explain why you’re supporting the day, is up to you.

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