It’s a busy week for us treehuggers what with celebrating International Day of Forests on Wednesday, enjoying Earth Hour on Saturday, and mourning today’s tragic announcement that the last male northern white rhino died. As if we didn’t have enough on our plates already here’s another day dedicated to celebrating this crazy little green and blue rock we call home. This time we’re focusing on the blue stuff – water.

In case you didn’t know already, water is really really important. It’s really important and also (like pretty much everything we hold dear in this world) under threat. How can water be under threat? Like this:

  • 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water.
  • By 2050 water demand is likely to increase by 30% with a 2 billion global population increase.
  • 1.9 billion people live in severely water-scarce areas.
  • This could increase to 3 billion by 2050.
  • 80% of global wastewater flows back into the environment untreated.
  • 64-71% of natural wetlands have been lost since 1900 as a result of human activity

Oh dear.

So what’s to be done? Well, the theme of this year’s World Water Day is ‘Nature for Water.’ What this means is that we should explore ways to conserve and manage our water by sort of letting nature do its own thing a little bit. This is based on the idea that all the crazy stuff we do (like dumping toxic waste, sucking up too much water to irrigate resource-intensive crops like avocados or almonds, and building luxury apartments on top of wetlands) messes with the environment’s ability to regulate our water supply. The argument goes that if, instead of doing that, we were to encourage and preserve natural processes, we would find ourselves in a much better position to avoid large-scale drought, desertification, and general unpleasantness. For more info on how this all works, here’s a handy website you can have a read through.

If you’d like to discuss water in more detail, find out about our work, and see how you can get involved, the Sustainability Team will be in the Marylebone learning platform from 12 until 2 on World Water Day so come say hi!

Cormac Cleary

Cormac Cleary

Sustainable Food Assistant at University of Westminster and Aramark
Cormac Cleary

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