International action to protect the seas has not yet begun. Although we understand its importance now more than ever, the recent Ocean Conference in New York has not resulted in any agreement beyond declarations of good intentions. Promoting and disseminating the idea of thinking about water, regardless of whether it is fresh or salty, is a necessary step to unblock the disastrous international standstill that is undermining all SDGs.
Urban runoff from heavy downpours releases a vast amount of water that is lost, pollutes, and causes flooding. Controlling this water that cannot flow through impermeable soil and taking advantage of its enormous potential is one of the keys to the regenerative city envisaged in SDG 11.
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.
Uncontrolled urban growth destroys water around it, creating a serious supply problem. Many cities around the world need to search for water further and further away. In the short film , a micro-documentary finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 5, the so-called “piperos”, the water carriers, bear witness to this problem in the Mexican city of Morelia.
Once a tourist attraction, Lake Togo languishes surrounded by sewage outfalls and tons of waste. The short film Trash Lagoon, finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 5, shows the damage caused by water pollution to fishermen. It is yet another example of how the loss of biodiversity throws a society off balance and how any solution against poverty requires the achievement of universal sanitation.
They treat wastewater with solar energy, capture CO2 and transform pollutants into valuable compounds. Moreover, they reproduce on their own and can collaborate in water disinfection. They are microalgae, plants we still know very little about, which can surely provide many benefits to sustainable sanitation without technological gaps.
The destruction of the Tanjaro River ecosystem shows that all is lost when water is polluted. Its recovery is also becoming an example of the difficulties of governance in a country that has not recovered from several wars. The short film Tanjaro is Dying, finalist of the We Art Water Film Festival 5, shows the disastrous consequences of the uncontrolled growth of a city in a region that has almost no memory of peace.
In regions with a lack of sanitation, DEWATS provides the possibility of a nature-based, low-cost and sustainable wastewater treatment without a sewage network. In partnership with World Vision, the Foundation is implementing it in a hospital in Chengelpattu, India.
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