World Water Day

“Water for Peace” is the theme chosen by the United Nations (UN) for World Water Day on March 22, 2024. The thinking behind this evocative theme links water as a human right and as a unifying element to stimulate collaborative work by all bodies. It’s an urgent call to become more aware of how to use water more wisely, in the knowledge that it is a vital resource in every aspect of our lives.

The aim is to “create a positive ripple effect to foster harmony, generate prosperity and strengthen resilience in the face of common challenges.” According to data, around half of the world’s population faces severe water scarcity for at least part of the year. Water-related disasters rank first in the list of disasters that have occurred in the last 50 years.

Transboundary waters account for 60% of the world’s freshwater flows (). Yet only 24 of the 153 countries sharing a common territory for these transboundary waters have signed cooperation agreements. Under the circumstances, it is understandable that water can be a source of conflict in certain regions of the world (UN-Water, 2021).

Even today, 2.2 billion people do not have access to clean water. That’s one person in three! It’s easy to understand the importance of this day, celebrated by the UN since 1993, which emphasizes the essential nature of water. An International Decade of Action on the theme “Water for Sustainable Development” has also been established (2018–2028).

Watch this video (2.30 min.) from Unicef France, which paints a vivid picture of the situation (in English with French subtitles).

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) adopted a corporate stand on water in 2004.