World Water Day: Water Unites Us All

The 8 billion people of this planet are almost unfathomably diverse, but have one thing in common. We need water to survive, and we consist of water – 55 to 60% of the adult body is water.

Recognizing the universal human need for water, the United Nations has declared the theme of World Water Day, March 22, as Water for Peace. There are few better examples of peaceful, harmonious international water stewardship than the cooperation of the U.S. and Canada in using and guarding the waters of the Great Lakes.

Since 1909, when the two nations agreed in the Boundary Waters Treaty to prevent and resolve disputes over water straddling their shared border, Canada and the U.S. have been viewed as pioneers in peaceful, joint water governance. For the Great Lakes, this has meant coordinated attacks on harmful algae blooms, toxic substances and the invasive sea lamprey; restoration of contaminated connecting waters and harbors; and planning to assure the quality of the Great Lakes continues to improve in decades to come.

Still, the two countries, like the rest of the world, have more work to do. Although abundant water characterizes the Great Lakes region, thousands of people are unable to count on clean, fresh and accessible drinking water due to crumbling infrastructure and water services shutoffs. Globally, more than 2 billion people lack access to clean water.

If water is to unite humanity, then access to it must be provided to all of humanity.

World water facts

  • The Great Lakes contain about 20% of the available surface fresh water of the world and 95% of the available surface fresh water of the U.S.
  • Roughly half of the world’s population is experiencing severe water scarcity for at least part of the year.
  • Water-related disasters have dominated the list of disasters over the past 50 years and account for 70 per cent of all deaths related to natural disasters.
  • Transboundary waters account for 60 per cent of the world’s freshwater flows, and 153 countries have territory within at least 1 of the 310 transboundary river and lake basins and inventoried 468 transboundary aquifer systems.

One comment on “World Water Day: Water Unites Us All

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *