World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This Day is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. Water is an essential building block of life. It is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.
A new World Water Development Report is released each year on or near World Water Day, to provide decision-makers with tools to formulate and implement sustainable water policies. This report is coordinated by UNESCO’s World Water Development Programme (WWAP) on behalf of UN-Water. The annual theme for World Water Day is aligned with the focus of the report.
UNESCO also contributes to the observance of World Water Day within the activities of its International Hydrological Programme (IHP), which worlds all year long to build the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources in a sustainable way.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193(link is external) of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) contained in Chapter 18(link is external) (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21(link is external). States were invited to devote the Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness through the publication and diffusion of documentaries and the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources.
“In an increasingly globalised world, the impact of water-related decisions crosses borders and affects everyone, therefore advocating for a comprehensive water governance.
This World Water Day, UNESCO reaffirms its commitment to support governments in their efforts towards achieving universal access to water and sanitation for all, without discrimination.
By prioritizing those most in need, we can build more resilient communities, more equal societies and a more peaceful, sustainable world.”
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, on the occasion of World Water Day 2019