World Water Day is held annually on the 22nd of March as a means of raising awareness on the importance of freshwater and encouraging the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater; 2014 World Water Day is focusing on "Water & Energy".
World Water Day is about what we can do in 2014 and beyond to promote sustainable practices in our use of water and energy.
Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and its distribution requires water, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Eight percent of global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to consumers. In 2014, the UN – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – is highlighting the water-energy relationship, particularly addressing inequalities, especially for the 'bottom billion', who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. It also aims to facilitate the development of policies and frameworks that bridge stakeholders, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy.
In Gibraltar we are fortunate in that we all have access to clean safe drinking water and do not suffer from shortages, as we obtain our drinking water from the sea through the process of desalination. However, removing the salt from seawater is an energy-intensive process, electricity which is obtained through the burning of fossil fuels which in turn leads to the generation of greenhouse gas emissions. If we save on water, we save on energy and reduce our CO2 emissions and we save money, so it’s a win-win all round!
1. Water requires energy and energy requires water.
Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. Energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment and distribution
2. Supplies are limited and demand is increasing.
Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase significantly over the coming decades. This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions, especially in developing and emerging economies.
3. Saving energy is saving water.
Saving water is saving energy. Choices concerning the supply, distribution, price and use of water and energy, impact one another.
4. The “bottom billion” urgently needs access to both water and sanitation services, and electricity.
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity, 768 million people lack access to improved water sources and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.
For information on the lack of clean water access in the world, click here.
For information on The Global Water footprint, click here.
For ways to save water and energy, click here.
Electric motor irrigation pumps for small-scale farming in Kenya
CC by DIVatUSAID on Flickr