WORLD WATER DAY 2019: What you need to know

World Water Day 2019 Theme Image: Leaving No One Behind

“Water is your FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT irrespective of WHO YOU ARE or WHERE YOU ARE…” – World Water Day 2019

In the year 1993, the United Nations General Assembly formally designated March 22 as “World Water Day”.

In collaboration with governments and partners, UN-Water coordinates the World Water Day.

World Water Day is a global observance day which aims at taking various actionable steps to tackle water crisis.

It is also intended to inspire persons all over the world to find out more about water-related issues and take certain actions to create a difference.

These issues include inadequate water supply, water scarcity, water pollution, climate change impacts, and lack of sanitation.

The World Water Day exposes the unequal access to WASH services and the necessity to assure the human right to both water and sanitation.

World Water Day 2019 Theme:

As a reminder, the “2018 World Water Day” Theme was called “Nature for Water”. It explored the ways nature can be used to overcome the 21st-century water challenges. [1] These ways could be in the form of water-related challenges to nature-based solutions.

The World Water Day 2019 theme, “Leaving no one behind”, is an adaptation of the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Everyone must benefit as sustainable development progresses. [2]

World Water Day 2019- Water For All- Leaving No One Behind
Source: UN-WATER-

The Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) targets at ensuring available and sustainable management of water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. [3]

The World Water Day 2019 Theme focuses on tackling water crisis by addressing the key reasons why many people are being left behind.

What Are The Problems?

1. In our present world, more than 663 million people live without a safe water supply close to their homes. They end up trekking to faraway water sources or queuing for countless hours, and managing the various health impacts of using contaminated water.

2. The households, workplaces, schools, factories, and farms of these people are affected as they struggle to survive and thrive.

3. Women, children, indigenous peoples, refugees, disabled people, among others (Marginalized groups) are ignored and may sometimes face discrimination as they try to access safe water.

What Is The Human Right To Water?

In the year 2010, the United Nations recognized the right to clean and safe drinking water as a fundamental human right that is necessary for the maximum enjoyment of life as well as all human rights. [4]

World Water Day 2019-Water for all citizens- Leaving no one behind
Source: UN-WATER-

The human right to water allows everybody, without any form of discrimination, to adequate, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for both personal and domestic use. These include water for personal sanitation, drinking, food preparation, personal and household hygiene, etc. [5]

Why Are Many People Being Left Behind Without Access To Safe Water?

There are a lot of different reasons why people are left behind without access to safe water.

Certain people experience challenges when it comes to water accessibility and the following factors are the ‘grounds for discrimination’ causing these issues.

• Property, residence, tenure, social and economic status
• Sex and gender
• Race, ethnicity, birth, religion, caste, language, and nationality
• Disability, age, and health status

Others including population growth, climate change, environmental degradation, conflict migration flows, and forced displacement can also excessively affect marginalized groups through the impacts on water.

What Needs To Be Done?

• According to UNICEF, we need to focus our efforts on involving those that have been ignored (marginalized) in order to ‘leave no one behind’.

• Water services must meet the needs of marginalized groups and their voices must also be heard in various decision-making processes.

• Regulatory and legal frameworks must recognize the right to ‘water for all people’. Also, sufficient funding must be fairly and effectively targeted at the people who need it most.

World Water Day FACTS:

According to several studies carried out by WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, and other similar organizations, here are some important Facts about access to safe and clean water. [6]

• It is highly problematic accessing safe water services for the 68.5 million people who have been forced to flee their homes.

• About 159 million people collect their drinking water from surface water like streams and ponds.

• Around 4 billion people (nearly 2/3 of the world’s population) experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.

• The wealthier generally receive high levels of WASH services at (often very) low cost, whereas the poor pay a much higher price for a service of similar or lesser quality.

• 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.

• Globally, 80% of the people who have to use unsafe and unprotected water sources live in rural areas.

• More than 700 children under five years of age die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

• Women and girls are responsible for water collection in eight out of ten households with water off-premises.

• Over 800 women die every day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

• One in four primary schools has no drinking water service, with pupils using unprotected sources or going thirsty.

• 2.1 billion People live without safe water at home.

If you want to find out more about World Water Day 2019, click through any of the reference links below.

You can also click here to read more and download the PDF file for the World Water Day 2019 Theme.


  4. UN (2010): A/RES/64/292 Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 28 July 2010:
  5. OHCHR, UN Habitat, WHO:

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