Plenty of fresh water is something that we New Zealanders tend to take for granted, until we have a hot, dry summer and news of drought hardship for farmers hits our screens. World Water Day is there to help remind us about sustainably managing freshwater resources, and also focusing our attention on the importance of freshwater.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day in 2013 is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water.

The key messages from World Water Day that we have found most pertinent for the end of summer in 2013 are:
Water cooperation creates tangible economic benefit; All economic activities depend on water. Cooperation can lead to a more efficient and sustainable use of water resources, e.g. through joint management plans creating mutual benefits and better living conditions, and gender sensitive water governance.

Water cooperation is crucial to preserve water resources, ensure their sustainability and protect the environment; Water cooperation makes possible and promotes the exchange of scientific knowledge, including gender disaggregated data and information, management strategies and best practices, which is fundamental for the protection of the environment and to achieve sustainable development.

On March 22 this year, let’s all take time to think about how our water usage effects the rest of the country’s resources, and if you do want a few tips on how to conserve water, have a read here: http://greenideas.co.nz/home-and-living/2013/02/27/water-saving-tips-from-drought-struck-waiheke-island/ – the wonderful people of Waiheke Island have put together a list of ideas that is helping them get through this summer’s shortage.

Jocelyn O’Connor – Wellness Coach