World Water Day

World Water Day 23 banner

What is World Water Day?

Since 1993, World Water Day has been an annual United Nations observance that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water. A core focus of World Water Day on 22 March each year is to inspire action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

World Water Day is about accelerating change

World Water Day 2023 asks everyone to “be the change you want to see in the world”.

Using an ancient story from the Quechua people in Peru of a hummingbird that carries drops of water to put out a great forest fire, the campaign encourages everyone to do what they can to help solve the water and sanitation crisis.

World Water Day advert encouraging people to be the change they want to see in the world

The situation

Back in 2015, the world committed to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 as part of the 2030 agenda – the promise that everyone will have safely managed water and sanitation by 2030. Right now, we are seriously off-track.

  • 1.4 million people die annually and 74 million will have their lives shortened by diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene

  • 1 in 4 – that's 2 billion people around the world lack safe drinking water

  • Globally, 44 per cent of household wastewater is not safely treated

  • 1.8 billion people use or work in health care facilities without basic water services.

With that in mind ...

It may seem like any change you make to how you consume and manage water will have very little impact on the race to reach the global goal. But, if we all make the effort to treasure every drop and make a small change to our behaviour, together we can make a difference.

What can you do on World Water Day?
Photo of apples

Choose fruit rather than fruit juice

One apple requires 70 litres of water. When turned into juice the water footprint rises to 190 litres for a single glass.
Photo of a cup of tea

Switch your morning coffee for a cup of tea

The water footprint for a cup of coffee is around 140 litres compared to a cup of tea which is around 34 litres.
Glass of water

Put down the fizzy

A bottle of fizzy drink requires around two bathtubs of water to produce. Choose tap water instead.
Photo of a pile of jeans

Try to avoid washing your jeans

Did you know a single pair of jeans requires almost 10,000 litres of water to produce. So, you should do your bit to to prevent the water footprint from increasing when you're cleaning them.
  • Some denim lovers say throwing your jeans in a freezer will get rid of odours;
  • Others say, hang them out in the fresh air to freshen them up but avoid direct sunlight as that could fade them faster than you want;
  • And, another group says, only throw them in the washing machine after you've worn them ten times.
Photo of a man yawning

Turn off sleeping technology

Currently, 90% of power generation is water intensive. Turning off devices when you're not using them means less energy needs to be produced.
Photo of two carrots

Don’t throw away edible food

An estimated 1/3 of all food produced globally is lost or goes to waste. Reducing your food wastage reduces demand on agriculture, which is one of the biggest water consumers. So, reduce food waste and save water.

Help create a global bouquet of origami hummingbirds
Image of origami hummingbirds
The hummingbird is peppered through this year's World Water Day theme. Why, you ask? Well, like a hummingbird does its bit and carries drops of water to put out a forest fire, this year's campaign is asking you to do what you can to help towards the world's water and sanitation crisis. Everyone is being encouraged to not only save water but take time out to get creative and make an origami hummingbird. The more hummingbirds you make amongst your school, family or community the better as it shows a commitment to the World Water Day cause.

Please send a photo of your hummingbird installation to [email protected] with the subject line "A bouquet of hummingbirds for World Water Day"And, remember to add the name and location of your school or community group.
Previous World Water Day packs