World Water Day 2017: Why waste water?
This year's World Water Day, on 22 March (every year) is dedicated to "wastewater" and the campaign, âWhy waste water?â, is about reducing and reusing wastewater. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.3 requires us by 2030 to âimprove water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.â Progress towards target 6.3 will also help achieve the SDGs on health and well-being (SDG 3), safe water and sanitation (SDG 6), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), life below water (SDG 14), and life on land (SDG 15), among others.
- Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
- 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking contaminated water... Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842,000 deaths each year.
- 663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources.
- By 2050, close to 70% of the worldâs population will live in cities, compared to 50% today. Currently, most cities in developing countries do not have adequate infrastructure and resources to address wastewater management in an efficient and sustainable way.
- The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. The costs of wastewater management are greatly outweighed by the benefits to human health, economic development and environmental sustainability â providing new business opportunities and creating more âgreenâ jobs.
- By 2030, global demand for water is expected to grow by 50%. Â Most of this demand will be in cities and will require new approaches to wastewater collection and management. Even in cities where wastewater is collected and treated, the efficiency of treatment may vary according to the system used. Traditional wastewater treatment plants may not remove certain pollutants, such as endocrine disruptors, which can negatively affect people and the ecosystems.
More facts in the WWD 2017 factsheet available here:
Visit the WWD special webpage here