More than 340,000 children die each year from diarrhea. In addition to unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene practices, there is a lack of awareness of the health risks associated with these deficiencies. The short film Thought of Water, afinalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, explains one of the most common causes: children share the water of a pond with animals and their own feces. The eradication of childhood diarrhea will be a sure sign of the achievement of SDG 6.
We are under-investing in ocean science. We need to know more about such harmful mechanisms as ocean acidification, warming, and pollution. So far, the oceans have protected us from the worst effects of climate change, but there is great uncertainty about their ability to continue to do so in the future.
India is the world’s largest groundwater extractor. The country is home to 16% of the world’s population but has only 4% of the planet’s freshwater resources. Many of its aquifers are overexploited. The solutions lie in promoting efficiency in local water management. This will only be possible if communities are involved in solutions and if they acquire knowledge and governance rights. A role model for dryland agriculture.
In many rural communities in El Salvador, poor governance, industrial overexploitation, and pollution leave them without access to water. The short film Private Waters, a finalist of the fifth edition of the We Art Water Film Festival, shows how the El Rodeo community has organized itself to guarantee its survival and health.
Solving the dichotomy between the value and price of water is essential to face a future of significant water risks. Efficient management and raising public awareness of the importance of the water cycle are tools that will allow us to reach an international consensus in the face of the threat of overpopulation and climate change. On World Water Day, we discussed the value and price of water in the World Majlis at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Spain is one of the most water-stressed industrialized countries in the world. The country faces the challenge of ensuring long-term water security. Water governance is endemically lagging in promoting investment and public-private partnerships. Citizens need to be part of the solutions, understanding the complexity and cost of the whole water cycle. Spain's actions can be a hopeful reference for the more than 2.5 billion inhabitants of the world's drylands.
The moorlands are home to pristine water and natural balance. They are also of immeasurable cultural value, as they are the backbone of an intense and profound relationship with nature and water. Many moorlands are at risk. The Sumapaz, in Colombia, is one of them. In El espíritu del agua (The spirit of water), Diana Moreno, finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, shows us how the recovery of the ancestral culture can be the most powerful action to save them.
“Groundwater: making the invisible visible.” The theme of this World Water Day should make the world understand the fragility of the source of life we have underground, which must be urgently saved. Adequate management of agriculture, irrigation, and livestock is the fundamental pillar to stop the deterioration of groundwater that threatens food security and the world’s environmental balance.
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