Clean water accessible to all is the goal for which every 22 March is World Water Day. The tradition was instituted by the United Nations as part of Agenda 21, established at the Rio de Janeiro conference in 1992. The program involves a series of local, national and global actions undertaken by UN organizations, governments and local authorities wherever human activity has impacted the environment, including its energy resources. World Water Day 2017 is dedicated to the issue of waste water and the need to reorganize and modernize waste water management systems, creating new efficient, water systems in order to avoid the scenario projected by a UN report by which “by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater.” Currently, 80% of waste water from homes, cities and industry around the world ends up in rivers and oceans without treatment or reuse. This raises pollution levels and wastes valuable nutrients and other substances that could otherwise be put to use. In a world that will require 30% more water and 45% more energy by 2030, reuse of waste water represents the most sustainable water management approach. Water is also the largest and most widely used source of renewable energy. According to IRENA, total worldwide installed capacity of hydroelectric energy in 2015 amounted to 1,208,949 MW, or 60% of all renewable energy produced globally. The reduction, treatment and reuse of waste water will make it possible to make clean water available to all in an equitable fashion by 2030, making a significant contribution to the fight against climate change.
Find out more about the close relationship between water and energy in OIL 23 “Water & Oil.”