Since 1993, the UN has recognized March 22 as World Water Day to celebrate water and to bring awareness to the 2 billion people who live without access to safe water.
In Canada, there are still 36 long-term drinking water advisories on First Nations reserves, some of which have been in place for more than 25 years. Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer has reported that the federal budget is short $138 million dollars each year for the funds it would take to maintain and operate drinking water systems on reserves.
This Year’s Theme
Every year, World Water Day has a theme and this year it is Groundwater- making the invisible visible.
While in Canada we have a wealth of freshwater lakes and rivers, almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater. This ground water supports drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems. Agriculture relies on groundwater, with 40% of all water used for irrigation coming from aquafers. But, mismanagement can cause the groundwater to be depleted and/or contaminated.
READ more about World Water Day and groundwater.