The celebration of World Water Day was initiated at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro. As a result, the UN declared 22 March World Water Day, emphasizing the importance of water in our life, environmental protection and vulnerability of freshwater reserves.
Paragraph 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015, aims to ensure access to safe drinking water on Earth for all by 2030. This objective indirectly shows the fact that water is one of the key issues in combating poverty.
“Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself,” wrote Saint-Exupéry.
The presence of water defines our everyday life. We take it for granted that good quality drinking water is always at our disposal.Consequently, we often do not treat it as it deserves. We often waste it, we do not take care of our environment, and thereby we pollute surface and groundwaters. Unfortunately, if we do not change our behaviour in the short-term, it may have unpredictable consequences. Our present and the fate of future generations, among other things, depends on how we manage our existing water resources on Earth, how we protect and utilise our waters.
The freshwater resources of the Earth are not inexhaustible, and almost a third of the world’s population is faced with growing water scarcity.The drastic decrease in water resources and the consequences of wasteful water use may be extremely serious for everyone down the line. According to UN experts, by the end of the century drinking water may become more valuable than gold.
22 March is therefore a good opportunity to think about what water means for us as a symbol of life, a symbol that we can rightly consider the cradle of life. Since we can contribute to the protection of our most important element, water, even by repairing a dripping faucet.
Finally, here are some interesting facts that many people do not know about water:
• Water is the only element on Earth that can be found in nature in all three states of matter.
• The surface of the Earth is 70-75% covered by water, of which approximately 2.5% is potable water. Not including freshwater resources found in the form of glaciers and permanent snow cover, 98% of freshwater is groundwater, which is why it is particularly important to protect groundwater.
• Water regulates the Earth’s temperature by requiring a great deal of energy to warm up, so the sun does not warm up our planet in a short time.
• More than 95% of the drinking water supply in Hungary is based on groundwater.
• The world’s population uses roughly 3/10 of all water resources.
• The average adult human body is made up of 70% water.
• More than 1.5 billion people in the world have no access to clean, healthy water.
• Insufficient quality, contaminated water is the largest killer among children under the age of 5, diarrheal causes of death are at around 90% in this age group.
• Central African women spend an average of 16 hours a week collecting water.
• In the US, the daily average water consumption per person amounts to 500 litres, while the same figure in Hungary is 110-120 litres.
• Recommended daily use of water for one day for one person: 50 litres, a typical Gambian citizen uses less than 4.5 litres of water a day.
• For an average toilet, about 8 litres of water is flushed down after each use.
• 140 litres of water are needed to grow the coffee beans for one cup of coffee, 1 kg of rice requires 5,000 litres (some of which is recycled).
• In a typical western household, more water pours down with 5 minutes of showering than the full daily water consumption of a person living in a slum.
Did you know?
• Hot water is heavier than cold water.
• Water itself does not conduct electricity, but the impurities found in water do.
• Giraffes can last longer than camels without drinking water.
• A cigarette butt thrown on solid ground contaminates about 1 cubic metre of groundwater.
Financial Awareness Project