World River Day: History, Theme, Significance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 1, 2023, 16:07

World River Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to commemorate the significance of healthy water bodies. It is every person's responsibility to protect and prevent the erosion of waterways. We observe International Rivers Day worldwide on the fourth Sunday of September to promote their conservation and generate awareness about water bodies.

In today's day and age, rivers pose many challenges due to global warming and climate change. World River Day is a chance to shed light on the value of water bodies and remind people to avoid polluting them.

World River Day - Overview

World River Day emphasizes many benefits of rivers and urges 'better stewardship' of them. People in over 100 countries get involved in myriad ways. You can either attend an event like river clean up or plan one of your own. Other events include community riverside celebrations, educational trips, and fish enhancement projects. The efforts to clean the Similkameen river in Canada, Thames river in London, and Chicago river in Chicago have been successful.

If you're looking for contacts and organizations to work within your community in Canada, the local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. In other countries, check with your local government, church, community centre, or schools for a list of local groups and individuals who might be interested in collaborating on an International Rivers Day event.

International Rivers Day is made successful with the help of sponsors. These sponsors help them send out World River Day updates, create river awareness campaigns, and organize and host events.

Themes and Significance of World River Day

26th September is a special day in India because people from all walks of life attend virtual and physical events organized to commemorate World River Day. There are eight river systems in the country, with over 400 rivers. India's rivers are in a deplorable condition; they need immediate attention. Tackling unchecked industrial waste entering water bodies is the first step people need to take countrywide. Besides that, pollution also needs to be kept in check as India is one of the most polluted countries in the world.




Groundwater: making the invisible visible


Waters in our communities


Waterways in our communities


Day of action for rivers

World River Day History

In 2005 Mark Angelo, a well-known river environmentalist spoke at the United Nations. As a part of the Water for Life campaign, he was present at the UN to raise awareness about the fragile water bodies. Angelo, after much thought, proposed an annual World River Day, and the rest is history.

The initial WRD event was organized by river enthusiasts from all over the world. After the huge success of the initial event in 2005, World River Day was commemorated in dozens of nations. Since then, the event has grown in popularity.

World River Day helps reiterate the importance of clean fresh water. According to Mark Angelo, it is an excellent opportunity for people worldwide to get together and recognize the importance of healthy and functioning waterways.

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FAQs on World River Day

Q.1) Which day is World River Day?

World River Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of September.

Q.2) How do you celebrate World River Day?

You can get involved in a river clean-up, have a picnic on a community riverside, take an educational trip, or raise awareness. You may also sponsor an event being held on World River Day.

Q.3) Why is World River Day celebrated?

World River Day is celebrated to raise awareness and protect, preserve and support rivers worldwide.

Q.4) What is the theme of International Rivers Day 2022?

The theme of International Rivers Day 2022 is 'groundwater: making the invisible visible.'