Why a World Water Day?
World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. It has been held annually since then. Each year, UN-Water the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge. The engagement campaign is coordinated by one or several of the UN-Water Members with a related mandate.
“Water and Jobs” is the theme of 2016 and highlights how both water and jobs have the power to transform people’s lives: Water is central to human survival, the environment and the economy and decent work can provide income and pave the way for broader social and economic advancements. Today, almost half of the world’s workers - 1.5 billion people - work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights. Water has the ability to create paid and decent jobs and can contribute to a greener economy and sustainable development. But for this to happen, we need more qualified workers to do their job in dignity, equality, safety and with a fair income.
Better water, better jobs
Today, almost half of the world’s workers - 1.5 billion people - work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights. The theme in 2016 — water and jobs — is focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods - and even transform societies and economies.