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World Water Day: better water, better jobs

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Today marks the 24th World Water Day! World Water Day dates back to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in 1992 where an international observance for water was recommended. Since 1993  the 22 March has become World Water Day. Each year UN-Water sets a theme around a current or future water challenge.

This year the theme is ‘better water, better jobs.’ It seeks to shed light on how workers’ lives and livelihoods are dependent on the quantity and quality of water and that this has a huge impact on societies and economies.

Did you know that today “about three quarters of households in sub-Saharan Africa fetch water from a source away from their home” (WHO/UNICEF, 2012). What’s more, 50-85% of the time it is women who carry out this task (ILO/WGF, n.d). This is one water related fact that should change.

So what can you do as a tourism business? Well as an organisation you have the power to create awareness, educate and take action with your staff, visitors and or other organisation you work with. Ideas include:

  • Make your voice heard on social media today by sending a selfie or group photo on how water is a part of your business
  • Send a submission to UN-Water on how water has changed your life or community
  • Think about what water means to you and submit an art work
  • Organise a debate in your office or organisation
  • Record a film and send it to UN-Water
  • Organise a photo contest
  • Or, get creative – think of something completely out of the box!

To watch the official 2016 trailer which gives a good depiction of this year’s theme click here.

To view an interesting image slideshow depicting the relationship between water and the world of work click here.

To expand your knowledge on water related challenges and opportunities check out the following articles and readings:

And remember, just because World Water Day is today, does not mean you should stop on the 23 March! Raise awareness, educate and take action throughout the year to truly be a part of creating better jobs through better water.


Tourism and Water Use – Time for Some Fresh Thinking

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24 March 2015 – I’ve been looking into hotel water sustainability innovations over the last few days, trying to find some stories for a blog to mark World Water Day, which happened last Sunday. Jeremy Smith. Read more.



23 March 2015 – Tourism is a thirsty business. Peak tourist seasons are generally during the driest months of the year. Tourism development is most intense in coastal areas and on islands, where potable water is typically scarce. Read more.



22 March 2015 – In celebration of World Water Day, the 22nd of March, 2015, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) reflects on 30 years of research excellence to support sustainable water use and development. During the last three decades, new ways of collecting, distributing and managing water have continually influenced our scientists’ work. Read more.



22 March 2015 – Water is at the core of sustainable development. Water resources, and the range of services they provide, underpin poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability. From food and energy security to human and environmental health, water contributes to improvements in social well-being and inclusive growth, affecting the livelihoods of billions. Read more.


World Water Day 2015: UN Calls for Global Unity in Pursuit of Better Water Access for All

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22 March 2015 – As the perils of climate change increasingly threaten the planet, the international community must unite in “a spirit of urgent cooperation” to address the many water-related challenges facing humanity, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared today. Read more.


This White Paper on Tourism and Water provides an overview of the key water-related challenges for the tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific region. The paper discusses the tourism industry’s water requirements, including ‘benchmarks’ for consumption, in various types of tourist accommodation. Strategies for reducing water consumption, improving efficiency and quality, and engaging in water stewardship initiatives are presented.

by EarthCheck Research Institute


White Paper on Tourism and Water

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