Despite the fact that water is one of our most basic needs in 2016 1 in 10 people do not have access to clean drinking water. Water sanitation is such an important issue for human health and as our water use is going to be increasing massively by 2050 it is important that we conserve water and decrease water contamination.
In New Zealand we are lucky enough to have access to potable water in our homes. However, our lakes and rivers are becoming increasingly contaminated and unsafe for swimming. Our governments current target for improving the water quality of our rivers and lakes is to make them safe for wading, not swimming just dipping your feet in. If you think that this is not enough you can make a submission here and tell our government that in clean green Aotearoa we expect swimmable water.
This year the theme of World Water Day is better water, better jobs. Over 1.5 billion people work in the water sector, many of these workers do not have basic rights, By improving access to safe water we improve jobs and workers lives. Many workers die due to poor water sanitation or inadequate water supply. By improving access to safe water and the conditions of those working in the water sector we can improve everybody’s lives. This is a really great series of photos about World Water Day 2016 if you want to check it out.
In order to ensure we have enough water it is also important to protect our forests as 75% of the world’s accessible freshwater comes from forest wetlands and watersheds. Fittingly, yesterday was the International Day of Forests. Not only are forests vital for their water supply but they are also home to around 80% of terrestrial flora and fauna. So, lets stop chopping them down!
I know a lot of people are not moved by facts and figures (no idea why stats are so sexy). But, we should protect our water and forests if for no other reason than they look damn good.
With Easter Weekend coming up it is a perfect opportunity to get out in nature (try to find a river that won’t kill you if you go swimming) and be reminded of how awesome the environment is.