World Water Day is March 22. The day was established in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly to focus attention on the importance and sustainable use of fresh water around the globe.
This year, World Water Day’s theme is “water and energy.” The UN predicts that by 2030, the growing global population will need 40 percent more water, and 50 percent more energy.
In Canada and the United States, a number of events are planned to mark the day. Along our transboundary waters, the many celebrations include:
- On March 18, a seminar at United Nations University in Hamilton, Ontario, on the water-energy nexus and links to food security and health issues. That includes discussion on a city of Hamilton biogas initiative to achieve zero-net-energy use.
- On March 22, a hike in Rouge Park near Pickering, Ontario; and a beach cleanup planned for Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, Ohio.
Events leading up to World Water Day along our shared waters have included a Walk for Water on Feb. 14 in Bellingham, Washington; and a Wikwemikong World Water Day event on Feb. 19 in Gore Bay, Ontario.
A partial map of events in Canada and the U.S. for World Water Day 2014. For the full world map and more information, see unwater.org.
The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 between Canada and the U.S. created the IJC. That was about cooperation between the countries. Addressing global water challenges requires the same type of commitment. As stated in a UN guide on World Water Day 2014:
“The world cannot continue to ignore or escape the strong link between water and energy. They are not independent variables in the world’s economic-ecosystem equation.”
The goal of World Water Day is to “show the positive aspects of that connection and how it may be put to better and more efficient use by the cooperation of all interested and affected parties; that is essentially everyone, as we all need water and energy.”