Back in 1993, World Water Day became a UN observance day focusing on the global water crisis. On 22 March every year, people and organizations mark World Water Day by taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, 1 in 3 people – around 2.2 billion – live without safe drinking water.

Water for all

Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.

The answer is in nature

World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.


World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

Better water, better jobs

On World Water Day, people everywhere show that they care and that they have the power to make a difference. They get inspired by information and use it to take action and change things. This year many will focus on the power that water and jobs have to transform people’s lives. 

Water and sustainable development

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. – See more at:

Water and energy

Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.

2013: World Water Day – Water Cooperation –  Coordinator: UNESCO

2012: World Water Day – Water and Food Security –  Coordinator: FAO

2011: World Water Day – Water for Cities –  Coordinator: UN Habitat

2010: World Water Day –  Water Quality

2009: World Water Day –  Transboundary Waters –  Coordinators: FAO, UNECE, UNESCO

2008: World Water Day –  International Year of Sanitation –  Coordinator: UNDESA

2007: World Water Day –  Water Scarcity –  Coordinator: FAO

2006: World Water Day –  Water and Culture –  Coordinator: UNESCO

2005: World Water Day –  Water for Life 2005-2015 

2004: World Water Day –  Water and Disasters –  Coordinators: UNISDR, WMO


2003: World Water Day –  Water for the Future – Coordinator: UN Environment

2002: World Water Day – Water for Development –  Coordinator: IAEA

2001: World Water Day – Water for Health, Taking Charge –  Coordinator: WHO

2000: World Water Day – Water for the 21st Century

1999: World Water Day – Everyone lives downstream –  Coordinator: UN Environment

1998: World Water Day – Groundwater, the invisible resource –  Coordinators: UN DESA, UNICEF

1997: World Water Day – The World’s Water, Is There Enough?

1996: World Water Day – Water for Thirsty Cities

1995: World Water Day – Women and Water

1994: World Water Day – Caring for Water Resources is Everybody’s Business

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