Understanding the Value of Water this World Water Day

By Regan Augustine.

World Water Day 2021 is on March 22 and the theme focuses on what water means to people, its true value and how this vital resource can be protected.

World Water Day, an annual observance by the United Nations, celebrates water and raises awareness about how water means different things to different people. For instance:

  • In cultural, spiritual and religious places, water can mean a connection with community, creation and oneself;
  • In households, workplaces and schools, water can mean hygiene, health, productivity and dignity; and
  • In natural spaces, water can mean an abundance and diversity of life, harmony, peace and preservation.

What does water mean to you?

Today there are numerous threats to the water we value: from the increasing demands of industry and agriculture, depleting water resources, and urbanization, to the growing population, pollution and climate change. Globally, there is a growing need to be grateful for this essential resource and to manage water security. It is imperative we improve water management through smarter use of data and nature-based solutions in our world today.

On World Water Day, the United Nations is launching the UN World Water Development Report 2021 on ‘Valuing Water’. This report focuses on different strategic water issues and provides decision-makers with tools to promote sustainable use of our water resources. Read more about this upcoming report at https://www.unwater.org/publication_categories/world-water-development-report .

In Muskoka, we are fortunate to have abundant freshwater resources from lakes, wetlands and rivers. In fact, 15% of Muskoka is covered in water, found in almost 680 lakes (over 8 ha in size) and 17 river systems. Water shapes the landscape and brings people from all over the world to appreciate the natural beauty of Muskoka.

Take time on World Water Day to think about the value water has brought to your life and how water has vast and complex value for our food, households, health, culture, economics, education, recreation, and our natural environment. It is important that we don’t overlook these values, or we risk the mismanagement of this finite, irreplaceable resource. Learn about actions you can take to protect Muskoka’s water on the Muskoka Watershed Council’s website at www.muskokawatershed.org.