We bring people together to create better policies for the future of water

World Water Day: precious today and everyday

22 March 2016
World Water Day 2016

First of all, welcome. It's World Water Day, and Water UK believes that access to clean water and sanitation for all is vital to the health of the global population.

For us at Water UK, this year's World Water Day is particularly special as it marks the launch of our new blog. This weekly blog will aim to support public health, raise awareness about the benefits of drinking water, and to help people better understand their tap water so that they can drink it with confidence and pride.

We'll be doing our best to position water firmly in the wider context of public health and share the fascinating stories that water has told throughout history. Our goal is to enable people to appreciate how many aspects of life water impacts upon and how vital it is to a healthy lifestyle. Essentially, we want to help you make informed choices and enjoy your water. It's an exciting journey and we're inviting you to be a part of it.

This year's World Water Day theme: Water and Jobs

World Water Day has been held annually since 1993 and has had a different topic each year. This year's theme is water and jobs.

The UN states that almost 1.5 billion people have a job directly related to water. Alarmingly, there's often a lack of safe drinking water in the working environment: 38 workers die every hour due to water-related diseases.

How relevant are UN water issues in the UK?

Here in the UK, we don't usually face issues of bad water quality. The vast majority of people are connected to the public water supply network that has consistently scored outstanding compliance rates, which means we can trust the water we drink.

The UK water sector understands that access to clean water and sanitation for all around the globe is vital, however. This is where solidarity comes in: today is an opportunity for all of us to show that we wish all people across the world enjoyed the luxury that we do. WaterAid offers various ways to get involved with World Water Day, with the #Blue4Water campaign central to the push. The concept is that you dress in blue, paint something blue, create something blue... Just do anything blue, then post it online, donate, and invite your friends and colleagues to join you.

Here in the UK, we are not endangered by bad water quality, but we do face challenges around low water quantity. The threat comes in two forms, directly through local water shortages and indirectly from impacts of global water shortages:

  • In southern and eastern England, much of the available water lies in underground aquifers, which are at risk of over abstraction. The Environmental Agency says several areas in this region are water stressed. Population growth and climate change is likely to exacerbate this problem, not just in south east England but in other parts of the country.
  • We don't get as much rainfall as you might think. London, for example, receives less rain annually than Sydney, Australia. Thames Water explains how the water cycle works - explore it yourself.
  • The UK is also affected by global water shortages due to our high level of imports from overseas. Worldwide water shortages can therefore have a considerable impact on our lives.

Everyone's job: drink it, don't waste it

Water for people, water by people. This World Water Day motto accurately describes the role of water companies across the UK: they directly employ around 44,000 people who make sure that a further 63 million people have access to high quality tap water all day, every day.

Aside from hydration, however, we all have a responsibility to preserve and look after this previous and finite resource for generations to come. Water UK is therefore also supporting Water Saving Week; a campaign running this week to help us consider our water usage in our homes and in the wider community.

Whether you're on the supplying side or the receiving side of the water sector, one task we all share is saving water. Waterwise has prepared some actionable tips on how we can all reduce our water consumption and our water footprints.

Water UK Communication
0207 344 1805

UN World Water Day

UN Water trailer - World Water Day 2016

WaterAid - #Blue4Water

Water UK supports World Water Day

Water Saving Week