World Water Day: History, Significance, Theme

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 23, 2022, 7:14

A resolution commemorating World Water Day was first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 22nd December 1992, after which 22nd March was declared as World Water Day. This day has been celebrated around the world since 1993. The purpose is to emphasize the relevance of water and enhance awareness of the clean water crisis that the entire world is facing. 

According to the United Nations (UN), the main focus of World Water Day is Goal 6 of the SDGs: Helping achieve universal access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.

History and Significance of World Water Day

The resolution commemorating World Water Day was initiated by the UN General Assembly on 22nd December 1992, after which in 1993, 22nd March was declared World Water Day. It has been observed all over the world since then. Water plays an important role in socio-economic development. It is needed for safeguarding human health and livelihoods.

71% of the earth's surface is covered with water, but only 2.5% is fresh and edible for humans. The natural recycling process keeps the amount of fresh water on the planet almost constant, but the explosive growth of the population is intensifying demand and competition. Believe it or not, water scarcity is a reality. And our inefficiencies in the sustainable use of water can cost future generations significantly.

World Water Day 2021 Theme

The theme of World Water Day 2021 was "Valuing Water." It was chosen to emphasize the value of water in our daily lives.

Water has a very complex value in terms of nutrition, health, culture, education, economy, and the integrity of the natural environment. Overlooking any of these values runs the risk of mismanaging this finite and irreplaceable resource.

World Water Day Celebrations

COVID-19 shifted the celebrations of World Water Day to virtual platforms.

The United Nations Water Development Report is published to virtually celebrate and advocate policy directions for different countries to address the water crisis. The United Nations also uses social media to emphasize the significance of the day and to enlighten people across the globe about the relevance of saving water for our future generations.

The celebrations aim to encourage people to participate in digital conversations about the paramount significance of water. #Water2me and #WorldWaterDay were used for digital discussions.

World Water Day in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) between the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to start the Ken-Betwa Link project in order to launch the 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain' campaign. The project is India's first river link project aimed at transporting water from surplus areas to arid areas by connecting rivers.

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FAQs About World Water Day

  • When is World Water Day celebrated?

World Water Day is celebrated on 22nd March each year. 

  • Why is World Water Day celebrated?

According to the United Nations, the idea for World Water Day dates back to 1992, when the United Nations Conference on Environmental Development was held in Rio de Janeiro. That same year, the General Assembly passed a resolution designating 22nd March as World Water Day each year. 

  • What is the situation of water in India?

In India, there is a lack of access to clean water, which is a constant challenge that the country has been grappling with for several years.