Today, March 22, is World Water Day. This year’s theme is “Leaving no one behind.” According to UN Water, the theme adapts the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.
The Sustainable Development Goal 6 is clear, water for all by 2030. According to UN Water, by definition, this means leaving no one behind. However, today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive. And, according to UN Water, marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.
“Safe water” is defined by The Hindu as water that is free from contamination, and available whenever needed. When people are forced to use unsafe or contaminated water, they risk contracting deadly diseases.
According to The Hindu, 2.1 billion people live without safe water at home; more than 700 children under five years of age die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation; globally, 80% of the people who have to use unsafe and unprotected water sources live in rural areas; around four billion experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year; 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030; and for the 68.5 million people forced to flee their homes, accessing safe water services is problematic.
However, their are some organizations willing to help. Mind Body Green wrote on five different organizations that help in the fight again water scarcity; Clean Water Action, WaterAid America, The Water Project, Water.org, and charity: water.
Clean Water Action was founded to support the most comprehensive legislation on freshwater in the U.S., the Clean Water Act, in 1972. The organization has since put on activist trainings around the country. They also do a lot of campaigning for environmental politicians, organize cleanups, and raise awareness about lesser known water issues around the world.
WaterAid America works to bring clean water and working toilets to those in need. Since 1981, WaterAid has brought water to 25.8 million people and toilets to 25.1 million by engaging with governments around the world on the importance of proper sanitation and donating money to community partners.
The non profit The Water Project has been funding infrastructure such as wells, sand dams, and rainwater collection systems for 10 years in sub-Saharan Africa and sharing progress in real time on their impact page.
At Water.org each time you donate your money goes toward loans for families that lack fresh water. According to Mind Body Green, operating off the idea that charity alone is not a long-term solution, these loans empower people to take charge of their water supply for good.
Finally, charity: water has raised over $360 million to help provide water to 9.5 million people in 27 countries by donating 100% of public donations to water-starved areas in part to the support of a robust donor group. They then map every completed project on Google Maps for total transparency.
Each of these charities have multiple goals for this year’s World Water Day including reducing your meat intake, wasting less food, challenging yourself to drink only water, and donating directly to women and girls since they are most affected by water scarcity. According to the U.N., women and girls are responsible for collecting water in eight out of 10 water-scarce households.